I received a direct answer to my question and a commitment from a minister to do something about the issue this week in parliament, which is not as common as you may think.
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was making a statement to the House updating what steps have been taken across the NHS to reduce the number of still-birth’s. I told him that a recent (excellent) report compiled by the ONS (Office of National Statistics) and Eastbourne Borough Council has identified our own Trust – ESHT – had 19 still-births last year and that this figure was higher than most comparable Hospital trusts. So would he, the Secretary of State, agree to the Department of Health looking into this?
Hunt agreed and I have already written to him asking for details of the process; in politics as in life it’s important to both bank and act on a commitment immediately! With regard to our own NHS Trust, ESHT, which runs the DGH, the Conquest and the community health services, I have been tremendously impressed with the different, pro-active style of leadership the new(ish) chief executive, Dr Adrian Bull, has provided since he took over from the un-lamented Darren Grayson (who I can safely say if he’d lived in Eastbourne wouldn’t have voted for me!), and my frequent visits to the DGH since being re-elected to meet the staff across a range of different departments show me that our hospital is going in the right direction which is excellent, but 19 still-births is too high for whatever reason. I will keep readers of my e-Newsletter informed of progress from Jeremy Hunt and his department.