Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol

Health and Social Care Committee










                XX October 2014

Dear Colleague


As you will be aware, the National Assembly for Wales’s Health and Social Care Committee reported on its one-day inquiry into still births in Wales in February 2013. The focus of the inquiry was to examine the awareness, implementation and effectiveness of current guidance and recommendations across the different sectors with regard to stillbirth prevention, especially in relation to poor foetal growth and reduced foetal movements. The Committee also considered where potential improvements could be made.


The Committee agreed recently to seek an update report from the Minister for Health and Social Services on the progress made to date in implementing the Committee’s recommendations. The Minister for Health and Social Services responded in September 2014. He states in his progress report that despite the progress made on the engagement of clinical staff, further work remains to be done to fully implement the Committee’s recommendations.


In light of this response the Committee has agreed to return to the subject in order to follow-up on its initial conclusions and recommendations. This follow-up will be used to consider how effective the Welsh Government has been in addressing the issues identified by the Committee in its report, with a specific focus on the implementation of the Committee’s nine recommendations.




Invitation to contribute to the inquiry


To inform its work, the Committee is contacting those who submitted evidence to the original inquiry to ask for views in writing about the progress that has been made to implement its recommendations.  These responses will be considered by the Committee and will help it decide whether any further scrutiny of this area is necessary before the end of this Assembly in 2016.


The Committee would also like to hear your views on where you think further work may be needed and what steps may need to be taken to ensure improvements are made. Written submissions need not be long and there is no need to repeat evidence submitted to the previous inquiry. Guidance for witnesses providing written evidence for committees is attached at Annex A.


The Committee welcomes evidence from both individuals and organisations.  If you are responding on behalf of an organisation, please provide a brief description of the role of your organisation.


Generally, we ask for submissions to be made in writing because it is normal practice for the National Assembly to publish evidence provided to a Committee on our internet site so that it becomes part of the public record.  However, we are also able to accept evidence in audio or video format.  The Committee welcomes contributions in English or Welsh, and we ask organisations with Welsh Language policies / schemes to provide bilingual responses, where applicable, in line with their public information policies. 


If you wish to submit evidence, please send an electronic copy of your submission to HSCCommittee@wales.gov.uk.


Alternatively, you can write to: Committee Clerk, Health and Social Care Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA.


Submissions should arrive by Thursday 4 December 2014. It may not be possible to take into account responses received after this date.


For your information, the Committee has invited submissions from those on the attached distribution list (Annex B) as they provided evidence to its original inquiry. Nevertheless, if any other individuals or organisations that are not included on this list wish to contribute to the inquiry, they are welcome to submit their views. A copy of this letter has been placed on the National Assembly’s website.


Disclosure of Information


It is normal practice for the National Assembly to publish evidence provided to a Committee.  Consequently your response may appear in a report or in supplementary evidence to a report.  The National Assembly will not publish information which it considers to be personal data.


In the event of a request for information submitted under UK legislation, it may be necessary to disclose the information that you provide.  This may include information which has previously been removed by the National Assembly for publication purposes.


If you are providing any information, other than personal data, which you feel is not suitable for public disclosure, it is up to you to stipulate which parts should not be published and to provide a reasoned argument to support this.  The National Assembly will take this into account when publishing information or responding to requests for information.


Yours faithfully

David Rees AC AM

Chair, Health and Social Care Committee

Annex A: Guidance for witnesses providing written evidence for committees

The Assembly is committed to providing accessible information to the widest audience possible. This short guide is to assist witnesses who produce written information for committees. This will enable the Assembly to provide information submitted by third parties in an accessible manner.



Where possible, information should be provided in Microsoft Word to ensure accessibility. Where a scan or pdf is provided, particularly in the case of signed letters or tables of information, the original Word document should be provided along with it.


Annex B: Distribution list


All Wales Perinatal Survey 

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

BMA Wales

Cwm Taf Health Board   

Dr Alexander Heazell (Manchester Academic Health Science Centre)

Holly Martin Stillbirth Research Fund 

International Stillbirth Alliance

National Childbirth Trust

National Stillbirth Working Group 

OC Support

Powys Teaching Health Board

Public Health Wales


The Royal College of Midwives

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

West Midlands Perinatal Institute