Following the Senate’s Inquiry in to Stillbirth Research and Education there has been strong commitment to developing a Stillbirth National Action Plan to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to reducing the rates of stillbirth across Australia. 

Consultation on the proposed plan concludes today and we are aware that many people within the Sands community have made submissions.

As an organisation, Sands has raised the following key points as part of our advocacy to ensure the plan improves bereavement care across the country:

  • The plan must be parent-centred, not just women-centred.  It is critical that the needs of fathers and partners are represented within the overall plan

  • There is a need to implement perinatal mortality audits in all states and to ensure that these reviews include the stories and voices of bereaved parents, not just health professionals. We believe that this will improve the quality of care provided and help reduce rates of stillbirth

  • Standards and resources are required to support bereaved families to engage in perinatal mortality reviews
  • That continuity of care, both during pregnancy and after loss, must be a focus (including in rural and remote areas)

  • That stillbirth education must be included in pre-service training for all relevant groups of health professionals including sonographers

  • That community-based bereavement services must expand outside of capital cities

  • That community support options need to be expanded to support families going through pregnancy after loss to assist in managing their anxiety

  • All bereaved families should be referred to community-based support following stillbirth

  • A single point of information regarding local bereavement services is needed to simplify the process of finding support.

We look forward to seeing the final report and we are excited to be a part of delivering on this plan for all Australians.