Minister Maria Caulfield, Olivia Blake MP and Tommy’s Ambassador Myleene Klass have visited the National Centre for Miscarriage Research at the University of Birmingham.
Their visit came ahead of the expected publication of the Pregnancy Loss Review this summer, which is expected to detail the impact of miscarriage and other forms of baby loss before 24 weeks’ pregnancy; set out recommendations to the Government for changes to the law for registering these losses; and provide guidance on improving NHS gynaecology and maternity care for parents who experience a miscarriage and other causes of baby loss.
The Centre’s researchers and clinicians work across sites at the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals and in London, Coventry and Warwick to better understand miscarriage and develop treatments which could prevent loss. They also run clinics for families who are referred for help in identifying and treating recurrent miscarriage.
I was delighted to host Minister Maria Caulfield today at the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research and directly show the life-changing difference we can make when we dedicate resources to improve miscarriage care. We firmly believe no individual should have to experience three miscarriages before they access basic care and support. The new care guidelines we’ve created and implemented in a pilot study at Birmingham Women’s Hospital show how we can practically provide best practice care which is backed by the latest research. Now we need continued governmental support to make sure we can improve miscarriage care on a national scale, changing the experiences of the hundreds of thousands of families who experience this devastation every year.Professor Arri Coomarasamy, Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research and Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Birmingham
Graded Model of Care
Currently in the UK, women and birthing people must endure three miscarriages in a row before they qualify for specialist care and support. The team at Birmingham are now piloting a new care pathway which offers support after a first loss, some testing and treatments after a second, and consultant-led care after a third: the Graded Model of Care.
In 2021 Tommy’s research showing the serious impact of miscarriage in the UK and its’ recommendations to overhaul miscarriage care was published in The Lancet. It was the first time in the medical journal’s almost-200 years that an issue was dedicated to the subject of miscarriage.
Pregnancy loss can be hugely devastating and traumatic for women, their partners, and indeed entire families. That’s why today’s visit – and the work being carried out by Tommy’s – is so important. I spoke to women and families who have been supported by the centre, including its new approach to miscarriage care, and I’d like to thank them for sharing their stories and experiences. I’ll keep working to ensure women and their families can access the best possible care following complications in pregnancy. The independent review into pregnancy loss – the findings of which will be published shortly – will consider how we can improve care so women and families receive the support they need.Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Women’s Health
For too long, miscarriage has been swept under the carpet, dismissed as a 'fact of life'. As a result, research into the causes and treatment of miscarriage has never been prioritised or properly funded. The work Tommy's do at their centre is vital, helping to plug this hole, and it was an honour to get to see and hear about it first-hand and meet some of the staff, researchers and families who've been supported.Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam