Sadly, it is a reality that many stillbirths could have been prevented with better care (and you probably won’t have been told if that is the case). If you are concerned that your baby may have died unnecessarily, please consider taking action to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.

If hospitals followed guidelines, then stillbirths should be subject to a rigorous independent review to ensure that lessons are learned. Unfortunately, most of the time that doesn’t happen so you may need to take action yourself.

The first step in deciding what action to take is to be clear about what you want to achieve. If you want an apology or changes to practice, only the complaints procedure (and the Ombudsman if the response isn’t satisfactory) can get you this. If you want financial compensation, you need to take legal action. If there are specific individuals who need to be prevented from being a danger to the public, you should consider reporting them to the regulators.

The main options

Complaint


Make a formal complaint
to the hospital

Legal Action


Make a civil claim
against those responsible.

Referrals


Refer individuals to
their regulatory bodies

Support available

Be aware
Taking any form of action can be quite traumatic. It is highly likely you will have to go over the events again in a non therapeutic environment, for example reading medical reports. This can be very distressing and can affect the bereavement process adversely. It can take a number of years and the odds are stacked against you. Even if you are ‘successful’, it may lead to further distress as receiving medical advice that something could have been done to save your baby’s life is very painful.

Sadly there is relatively little support available. Mainstream charities are reluctant to get involved in individual cases, with perhaps the exception of AVMA, who may be able to provide with you advice.

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The charity for patient safety and justice.