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Stillbirths and Fatal Accident Inquiries


North Ayrshire & Arran MP, Patricia Gibson, has welcomed the announcement from Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison MSP that she is looking to extend Fatal Accident Inquiries to include babies who are stillborn.

Ms Robison has said that she has asked the Crown Office to consider the issue.

Mrs Gibson, whose own baby was stillborn at full term in 2009, said:

"I formally raised this matter with Ms Robison last year. Given that 34% of stillbirths occur at 37 weeks and beyond we need to do more to avoid unnecessary deaths. Experts in the field agree that for otherwise healthy babies to die near or at full term is an avoidable event.

"I believe to have a Fatal Accident Inquiry in each instance is in the public interest, since this could potentially allow lessons to be learned that could dramatically impact on the levels of stillbirth, each of which is devastating for the mother and family concerned.

"Fatal Accident Inquiries would inform training needs and any serious failings to ultimately help deliver higher quality maternity care. Such inquiries would also be well placed to issue findings and, where appropriate, hospitals would be obliged to take on board and respond to those findings and prevent similar mistakes re-occurring.

"I look forward to progress on this issue which would be a huge step forward and would place Scotland at the forefront of tackling stillbirth in a meaningful way, driving progress on a sensitive subject that for too long has been in the shadows.”

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