On 17 June 2021, Olivia Blake MP raised the findings and recommendations of our Miscarriage Matters Lancet research with Nadine Dorries MP at an Adjournment Debate in Parliament. This was thanks to over 175,000 of our brilliant supporters signing our petition to demand the Government make changes to miscarriage care. Since then, we’ve reached nearly 230,000 signatures and have been in talks with policy-makers and the NHS, which will help bring us closer to achieving this.
In response to Olivia’s speech, Nadine Dorries announced that the Government would incorporate a number of our recommendations into the Women’s Health Strategy – which will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of women across the country.
Nadine Dorries has since moved from her role as the Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety to work elsewhere in the Government – but we’re committed to keeping our campaign at the top of the political agenda.
This is why Jane, our CEO, wrote a joint letter with Olivia to new Health Minister Gillian Keegan MP. We’re asking Gillian Keegan to uphold what Nadine Dorries promised in Parliament and meet with us to discuss what happens next to make good miscarriage care widely and fairly available for everyone.
Our National Centre for Miscarriage Research has also been working with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) for months to share their knowledge from our Lancet research – and their recommendations in light of this evidence.
We’re pleased to let you know that RCOG’s updated miscarriage care guidelines take our research on board and encourage the NHS to adopt our graded model of care, so that parents can get support after every loss and earlier access to specialist tests and treatments.
In the revised guidelines, RCOG suggest that ‘recurrent miscarriage’ should be redefined so that losses don’t have to happen in a row for parents to receive support. Instead, they encourage doctors to use their discretion after 2 miscarriages if they suspect an issue might be causing the losses, and state that non-consecutive losses or those with different partners should still be treated as recurrent miscarriage.
They also echo our calls for evidence-based and supportive care, with effective targeting of NHS resources. The guidelines also draw on findings from our PRISM trial, a study which showed that a daily dose of progesterone can prevent miscarriage in people with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriage. Given that our experts estimate that progesterone treatment could prevent 8,450 losses a year, this is an important step towards our goal of halving the number of babies who die during pregnancy by 2030.
Our CEO, Jane, said: “The right care can reduce the risk of miscarriage, and the right support can help parents if they experience loss – but that help isn’t reaching everyone across the UK after every miscarriage; this can and must change.
“It’s great to see the Royal College taking forward Tommy’s recommendations from our Lancet research in their new care guidelines, so we can prevent more losses wherever possible but also better support those who do sadly lose their babies. We know what to do and how to do it, so now we need a commitment across the NHS to develop these care pathways and improve support for everyone.”
In addition to our recommendations on tests and treatments for miscarriage, the RCOG have also highlighted where research and evidence is lacking. This includes the health disparities facing women from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, who were found to be at higher risk of having a miscarriage than White women in our Lancet research series. Our researchers have already begun work in this area, in partnership with our other national research centres, and are investigating other conditions and treatments identified in the guidelines.