Jeremy Hunt announces changes to stillbirth investigations

28 November 2017

News that all cases where babies die unexpectedly during childbirth will be independently investigated is a positive step towards helping parents

During today’s announcement, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said these investigations would also be extended to serious harm caused during childbirth. The Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch will review cases.

By introducing these new plans, Mr Hunt said he hoped the NHS would learn from mistakes in the past but that staff across the NHS would have to be increased.

Shoosmiths’ Sarah Harper said:

‘This is a positive step forwards. An independent investigation will hopefully result in parents being told why and how their baby died at a much early stage and avoid the pain of having to wait  many years to find out what happened, which is so often the case.’

Mr Hunt also announced that the Government would look into changing the law to allow coroners to investigate full-term stillbirths.

Coroners cannot do this at the present time and this is something which the Campaign for Safer Births – a campaign which Shoosmiths supports - has been fighting for, for the past five years.

Campaign co-founder Michelle Hemmington said:

‘This is a huge step forward however we continue to fight for the change of law for full term stillbirths to have an independent Inquest. It is not clear when the law on this specific issue is likely to be changed.’


For further information please contact Sarah Harper, senior associate and stillbirth expert at Shoosmiths:

Telephone: 03700 86 3216

Email: [email protected]

Sarah Harper

Sarah Harper, senior associate at Shoosmiths



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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