Dunne calls for introduction of Baby Loss Certificates in Northern Ireland

North Down DUP MLA Stephen Dunne has called on the Finance Minister to work at pace to deliver a Baby Loss Certificate scheme similar to the one available in England.

By Stephen Dunne MLA

North Down

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Speaking after raising the issue during Questions to the Minister in the Assembly Mr Dunne said,
"I am urging the Finance Minister to work at pace alongside the Health Minister to deliver a Baby Loss Certificate scheme, similar to the one now in operation in England. In England, if a pregnancy ends before 24 weeks, parents can apply to receive a baby loss certificate to have their grief recognised. This is a very sensitive issue, and not everyone parent may want to avail of a certificate, but I do feel it is important that there is an opportunity for those who may wish to.

We have heard from bereaved parents across Northern Ireland that this certificate would be a meaningful document that they could keep to help remember and cherish their sadly lost baby during an extremely traumatic time. I am pleased that the Finance Minister has in recent months and in response to my question in the Assembly, committed to working with the Health Minister to progress the introduction of a similar Baby Loss Certificate Scheme here in Northern Ireland.

Despite this, I have been disappointed at the current lack of timescale for its introduction. I took the opportunity through Question Time at the Assembly to question the Minister on when parents could expect to be able to apply to this scheme. Each month that goes by is another where parents who have suffered greatly do not have any official recognition of their much-loved baby.

Whilst the Minister could not provide a specific timescale I do feel there is the desire to see this brought forward as soon as is feasible. I will continue to engage with both Ministers to ensure this much needed scheme is progressed and greater clarity is given to parents when they can expect to avail of this."

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