Bereaved parents must get better level of care

This week in Parliament, we came together to debate and bring focus to Baby Loss Awareness Week from October 9–15. The week is an opportunity for those affected by baby loss to remember and commemorate their babies’ lives, and to raise awareness of the issue.

The charities leading the week this year, including SANDS and The Miscarriage Association, provide support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and death of a baby, and work with health professionals and services to improve care across the country.

Baby loss in an issue close to my heart – my grandmother suffered firsthand and I felt extremely humbled to be given the chance to speak at the debate. While I am proud that the government has taken action to address maternity care and has set an ambitious target to halve stillbirth rates by 2030, I questioned the level of progress that has been made in improving bereavement support in recent decades.

Although the government has invested £35 million into the NHS to improve bereavement counselling services, more needs to be done. It is for this reason that the Government’s work to create a national bereavement care pathway is so important.

I will campaign tirelessly to reduce the variation in the quality of NHS bereavement care to ensure that Wiltshire residents get the same level of care as the standout areas in the UK.

In the Commons this week, the Prime Minister outlined further the UK’s plans for leaving the EU. I asked the Prime Minister if she would rule out a second referendum and I was pleased that she did so.

Opposition members have contradictory statements about the need to speed up and reverse the process. We need to carry out the democratic result of last year’s referendum and as a country we should move away from the leave or remain, soft Brexit or hard Brexit, and come together to deliver the best for the UK. Leaving the EU does bring with it some risks but also an abundance of fantastic opportunities and we have a duty as MPs to help realise these.

Back in the constituency, I was busy and one watching the Corsham young team play an exciting game of football last weekend. The match involved both girls and boys. It is crucial that all sports are as inclusive as possible, especially games like football, which offer great exercise and fun for all.

Grassroots football is at the heart of our local communities and it was inspiring to see so many young people and families getting involved. I love the inclusive nature of AFC Corsham offering football for all abilities and ages. The club is looking to improve its facilities and has great plans, so I urge all local businesses and people to get in touch and support if they can.

If you would like to speak to me or highlight any issues then please do email me on michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk or call my office on 01249 704465.

I am also running a Mature Matters forum in Atworth (part of a rolling programme around the constituency) in November. So if you would be interested in attending, or one of my other surgeries, or if you have any general questions then please do get in touch.