Updated health service guidelines are to be introduced in an effort to help parents in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.


The updated guidelines will aid hospital workers in learning how best to help grieving parents in these tragic cases.


The new “Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death” will be introduced tomorrow by Minister for Health Simon Harris and HSE director general Tony O’Brien.


This amendment is in an effort to educate healthcare professionals about the best way of helping parents deal with loss by miscarriages, neonatal death and stillbirths.



An estimated 14,500 parents are bereaved in Irish maternity services each year which highlights the need for such changes.


“This will also be the first time that fatal foetal abnormalities will be acknowledged in this way,” a source told The Independent.


"It's a significant development and will ensure that parents will be entitled to bereavement counselling, no matter what their circumstances."


The changes will also put huge focus on how parents are informed with the document suggesting that staff need as much training in communicating this news as they do for their technical skills.


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