Since 2015 the Stillbirth CRE, along with other groups, has been advocating for a national plan on stillbirth prevention and care. Our co-directors and senior researchers have been heavily involved in the consultation phases, and CRE research evidence underpins much of the policy and target setting. We are very excited by the opportunity to work with Government and all other stakeholders to implement this plan over the next four years.
On 10 December 2020, the Federal Government officially launched the National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan.
The National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan marks the first Australia-wide plan to strategically address the issue of stillbirth, with an overarching goal to reduce the rate of stillbirth in Australia by 20% within five years, and to ensure that, when stillbirth occurs, families receive respectful and supportive bereavement care.
The plan’s five key priority areas, with recommended actions for the short, medium and long-term, are:
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.
The Stillbirth CRE will continue to support the Plan's objectives and address its priority areas through our research program.
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 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.
On Tuesday 12 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, in partnership 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 have 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.
The Australian Government 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 10 July 2020. A copy of the draft plan is available here.
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.
The Australian Government response to the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education report was released in July 2019. This document outlined 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.
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).