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Drive for better miscarriage care

Midwives magazine: Issue 7 :: 2011

A campaign has been launched to improve the care and support received by women who miscarry.

Mumsnet logo
Mumsnet is behind the drive and members have developed a five-point Miscarriage Code of Care.

It is launched after new statistics suggest that care, support and treatment don’t match the needs of women who have suffered miscarriages.

The findings of the poll, which surveyed 1390 women who miscarried, include: 

• Nearly two thirds (63%) of women who miscarried at home following a hospital scan said they weren't offered adequate pain relief
• Nearly half of all women treated in hospital (48%) were treated alongside pregnant women, or women with newborn babies, causing unnecessary distress
• Over a fifth of those referred for a scan (21%) had to wait three days or more.

The new code calls for improvements in five areas of patient treatment:
 
Supportive staff; access to scanning; safe and appropriate places for treatment; good information and effective treatment; joined-up care.

Mumsnet co-founder, Justine Roberts, said: ‘There is no getting away from the hurt of miscarriage, but there are a number of simple changes that could make a considerable difference to the level of trauma miscarrying parents undergo.

‘We’re asking national and local politicians and health care providers to get behind our code of care to improve the treatment received by women who miscarry.’

RCM general secretary, Cathy Warwick, said: ‘Miscarriage, as we know, has a physical and psychological impact on women and their families; this is why it is important that a clear pathway for caring for women experiencing miscarriage is in place and understood by all clinicians.

‘The RCM welcomes Mumsnet’s code of care, which challenges service providers to act in the best interest of women at a most difficult time for them.’

Many of the code’s points are included in best practice guidance from NICE and the RCOG.

But the experience of Mumsnet members suggests that often this guidance is not implemented at the local level.

For more information on the code and campaign, please visit the Mumsnet website.