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Consultation on pregnancy loss and perinatal death bereavement standards

It said that, when implemented, these Bereavement Care Standards will seek to define the standards of care parents and families can expect to receive following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death.

The standards will be implemented and applied across the health service in all appropriate hospitals and settings. Nursing and medical staff will receive appropriate training and support to deal with parents who may or have experienced a pregnancy loss to ensure that the needs of parents and families are identified and responded to in a caring and compassionate manner, stated the HSE.

The Bereavement Care Standards have been informed and developed by a team comprised of people working in obstetrics, midwifery, nursing, psychiatry, paediatrics, education, social work, chaplaincy, ultrasonography, health service administration and the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Bereavement Specialist Teams are also being developed in hospitals across the country. Their role will be to assist and support parents, families and professionals dealing with a pregnancy loss, stated the Executive.

Chair of the Bereavement Care Standards Group, Dr Ciaran Browne, said: “We encourage as many people as possible to give us their views of these standards during the consultation process. We want to hear from the varying stakeholders including professionals working in the area, voluntary groups and most especially parents and families who may have experienced a pregnancy loss.

“The insights and feedback we receive will be important in ensuring we have identified the key improvements for the development of bereavement care services in maternity hospitals into the future”.

The HSE consultation process for the Bereavement Care Standards can be accessed at Submissions can be made through the consultation and by email to or in writing to Bereavement Care Consultation, HSE, Room 2.19, Dr Steevens Hospital, Dublin 8.

All submission will be reviewed on an anonymous basis, stated the Executive.

The HSE added that it will be inviting health service users to attend one of six forums to be held around the country in September where individuals can directly contribute and participate in the consultation process.

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