Minister to look into law on stillbirth

MP Tim Loughton with Hayley Petts and Frazer outside the Department of Health
MP Tim Loughton with Hayley Petts and Frazer outside the Department of Health

THE parents of a 20-week-old stillborn baby met with Health Minister Dan Poulter in an effort to change the law on stillbirth registration.

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton joined Frazer Leckey and Hayley Petts to lobby Mr Poulter on Wednesday, April 9.

Mr Loughton introduced a Private Members Bill earlier this year after he learned of the Worthing couple’s story – their son Samuel was classed as a mid-trimester miscarriage, despite the fact Hayley gave birth to him and the couple held him in their arms.

Mr Loughton called for a revision to the Births and Deaths Registration Act and argued the case for formal registration of stillborn babies born under the current 24-week threshold.

Mr Poulter promised to look at the issue in more detail and take it up with the president of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Mr Loughton then met representatives of the Royal College the following day who were ‘supportive’ of the reforms and said that they would report back to colleagues.

He said: “I am delighted with how the two meetings went. Both the minister and representatives from the Royal College were supportive of this change and of helping couples like Hayley and Frazer find closure in what is an extremely traumatic time.

“I am also planning on meeting the Miscarriage Association and the Royal College of Midwives to see if they are supportive and have followed up the meeting with Dan Poulter by formally writing to him to see how the Government can put the proposal into action.”