National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan

A national roadmap to reduce the rate of stillbirth in Australia by 20% over five years.

 

On 10 December 2020, nearly three years after the Australian Senate first created a committee to inquire and report on the future of stillbirth research and education in Australia, the National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan launched in Parliament House, Canberra.

The plan sets out a roadmap to reduce the rate of stillbirth in Australia by 20% over five years, as well as highlighting the need to provide supportive bereavement care to families when stillbirths occur.

The plan’s five key priority areas are:

  1. Ensuring high quality stillbirth prevention and care
  2. Raising awareness and strengthening education
  3. Improving holistic bereavement care and community support following stillbirth
  4. Improving stillbirth reporting and data collection
  5. Prioritising stillbirth research

Other significant issues raised in the report include a roadmap for decreasing inequities in stillbirth rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, migrant, and rural and remote communities through culturally appropriate interventions and preventative care.

Improvements in the investigation and reporting of stillbirth, and the need for further stillbirth research, including the establishment of a national placental biobank, are also listed as priorities in the plan.

STILLBIRTH SENATE INQUIRY: A NATIONAL ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS STILLBIRTH in australia

In early 2018 the Australian Senate put together a committee to inquire and report on the future of stillbirth research and education in Australia. Over 269 individuals and organisations made submissions to the Australian Government Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education, and public hearings were held in Canberra, Brisbane, Katherine, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne. The committee's report was tabled on Tuesday 4th December 2018 and can be read at the Inquiry webpage.

The Stillbirth CRE submitted jointly with PSANZ, WHA, ACM, Sands, Still Aware, and ISA. You can download our submission directly here. You can also view (all) submissions and transcripts from the public hearings, and watch the recorded tabling of the report at the Inquiry webpage.

An Ongoing Consultation

chris slupski 433343 unsplashOn Tuesday 12th February 2019 the Minister for Health Greg Hunt led a roundtable of stakeholders to assist the Government to develop this National Action Plan.

In the lead up to this meeting, the Stillbirth CRE with Stillbirth Foundation Australia, facilitated a collaborative response to inform the development of the Stillbirth National Action Plan. The process to do this is outlined in the document 'Towards a Stillbirth National Action Plan: a preparatory document' (see below).

We would like to thank all who responded to the Stillbirth CRE call for consultation. Both individuals and organisations across Australia have worked collaboratively to develop a number of actions against the recommendations put forward by the Select Senate Committee.

Your feedback was collated into the document titled ‘Submission to Inform the Stillbirth National Action Plan’  (see below), and has been submitted to the Government.

Updates

DECEMBER 2020

The National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan officially launched in Parliament House on 10 December 2020. The plan, which has bipartisan support, marks the first Australia-wide plan to strategically address the issue of stillbirth, and includes a pledge for $11 million in funding stillbirth prevention, research and care. The Stillbirth CRE welcomed the plan and was honoured to attend this launch.

December 2019

On 5 December 2019 Health Minister Greg Hunt hosted the National Stillbirth Roundtable meeting in Canberra. The Roundtable brought together key experts on stillbirth to review the draft Stillbirth National Action Plan. Read the Stillbirth CRE and Health Minister Greg Hunt’s media releases below.

July 2019

The Australian Government response to the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education report was released in July 2019. This document outlines the Government action toward each recommendation outlined in the Senate Select Committees report. A copy of the document is available from the Parliament of Australia website, or can be accessed below.

March 2019

We made some important changes to the 'Submission to Inform the Stillbirth National Action Plan’ . This includes updates to Priority 5: Supporting Bereaved Parents. In addition to a number of content changes to Action 5.1,  a new action plan has been submitted which addresses the critical need to expand the provision of support for bereaved parents (Action 5.2). The updated version of this draft document is available below  (Version 3).

MARCH 2020

The Australian Government has recently released a draft National Stillbirth Action and Implementation plan. 

The National Action Plan outlines the Government’s actions towards reducing the rates of stillbirth in Australia and ensuring that, when stillbirth does occur, respectful and supportive bereavement care is available to all.

The opportunity to provide feedback on the draft plan closed on 10th of July 2020.

To view the draft plan, please click here.

What happens next?

The finalised action plan launched in December 2020. Please check back here for updates. You can also follow us on Twitter and/or join our mailing list to receive alerts and stay up-to-date.

If you have any questions, please contact us. More detailed information around how we undertook the consultation process is provided in the documents below.

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash