Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services
Following a discussion in the Chamber on 13 March, I agreed to update members on miscarriage provision.
My officials wrote to health boards in January to seek assurance on the way miscarriage services are delivered in Wales. In their response, health boards provided reassurance that where elements of their provision are not already fully aligned with NICE guidelines on Miscarriage and Ectopic Pregnancy, they are working to make the appropriate improvements. I have asked my officials to work with health boards to ensure all aspects of the guidelines are delivered consistently across Wales.
My officials are considering the recommendations made in the report 'Making the Case for Better Miscarriage Care in Wales', published by Fair Treatment for Women of Wales. The report highlights the personal experiences of women who have suffered a miscarriage. I am concerned with what appears to be a worrying lack of sensitivity and respect in some of the cases mentioned. This is not acceptable. My officials have already had discussions with stakeholder groups about how we can work together to improve the way in which women who suffer miscarriage are cared for and supported by health boards in Wales.
Health boards are reminded that early pregnancy complications can cause significant distress for some women and their partners. People providing care for these women should be given training in how to communicate difficult news sensitively. Treatment and care should take into account women's needs and preferences and women should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals.