Minister Lucy Frazer made the following statement today about the recent death of a baby in HMP Bronzefield:
“There are ten separate investigations taking place in relation to this incident at the moment. I'm pleased to announce that the secretary of state and I have formally asked the PPO to conduct an overarching investigation into this incident. I spoke to the governor of the prison yesterday. She has introduced hourly checks throughout the night for all pregnant women and fortnightly pregnancy review board for all pregnant women across the prison estate involving a multidisciplinary team.”
Naomi Delap, Director of charity Birth Companions, says:
“We welcome the Minister’s statement on this tragic event, and are pleased to see that an investigation will be undertaken by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. This will ensure the full details of the incident are publicly available, allowing opportunity for vital lessons to be learnt and appropriate changes applied across the prison estate.
We also welcome the use of fortnightly pregnancy review boards and a strong multi-disciplinary approach to pregnant women’s care at HMP Bronzefield in response to this event. Care should be taken to ensure that the hourly checks on pregnant women throughout the night, also introduced in response to this tragedy, do not compromise women’s wellbeing. Individualised and carefully informed care plans are the most effective way to safeguard the health and wellbeing of women and babies throughout pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period.”
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