A debate on our petition in Parliament
When we reached 175,000 signatures, Olivia Blake MP raised our petition and the findings of our research in an Adjournment Debate in June 2021. In response to Olivia's speech, the health minister at the time, Nadine Dorries MP, announced she would put forward several recommendations in the Women's Health Strategy – an initiative which will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of women across the country.
We've been working hard to make sure this happens
The commitments made by the Government were encouraging, but we need to make sure miscarriage isn't forgotten. This is why, in another push in our #ChangeTheMiscarriageStory campaign, we called on our supporters to email their local government representative, to keep miscarriage on the agenda of decision-makers across the UK.
We were blown away by the response, with over 6,700 of you sending an email encouraging your MP or MSP to make miscarriage a priority for the government.
On the back of this, we hosted a discussion at Westminster with Olivia Blake and Myleene Klass. Dr Pedro Melo from our National Centre for Miscarriage Research shared the findings and recommendations from the Lancet research series, and we were joined by 2 of our wonderful supporters, Yuen and Bindhu, who bravely shared their own experiences of miscarriage to highlight the importance of better care.
Where are we now?
In October 2021, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) updated their guidelines on recurrent miscarriage, taking our research on board and encouraging the NHS to adopt the Graded Model of Care.
The Women's Health Strategy was published in July 2022. Despite what was promised, the strategy does not commit to providing a formal record of miscarriage. Instead, the Government have included a plan to provide an optional pregnancy loss certificate to families who lose a baby before 24 weeks. Whilst this is an important step in recognition of a parent's loss, they are in no way a substitute for official recording of miscarriage data by health services – a change which will be crucial in transforming care and support.
It also didn't address the current system which means families must experience 3 miscarriages before they are any offered support or testing. Instead of including specific commitments on miscarriage in the Women’s Health Strategy, they committed to giving further consideration to the findings of the Lancet review and to explore further measures through the Pregnancy Loss Review, which was to be published the following year.
In advance of the review's publication, we welcomed Maria Caulfield, Minister for Women, on a visit to the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research in Birmingham in July 2023. Here she was able to learn more about our Graded Model of Care, which is being piloted at the Centre, and means parents can get support after ever loss and earlier access to specialist treatments. Maria Caulfield was joined on the visit by Olivia Blake MP, Myleene Klass and some of the families who have recently been supported by our clinic.
The Pregnancy Loss Review
Published in July 2023, the Pregnancy Loss Review outlined 73 recommendations spanning areas such as quality of care, bereavement support, patient data and training. Because of our campaign for change, the ‘Graded Model of Care’ – which is currently being trialled by the Tommy’s team led by Prof Coomarasamy at Birmingham Women’s Hospital – was recommended as a key proposal in the review.
One area which was noticeably missing was data collection. We continue to strongly urge for all miscarriages to be recorded so that the scale of the problem is no longer hidden, national targets for reduction can be set and the impact of interventions can be measured.