Professor Mary Ann Lumsden, a gynaecologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary who chaired the expert guidelines group, said patients themselves had highlighted issues with the bedside manner of some staff.

She said: "What we are saying is it costs nothing to be nice and sympathetic to patients, whatever the reason they are there."

She said 30 years ago miscarriages which took place early in pregnancy were not given the same importance among doctors as losses which occurred later on, but it was now recognised they could be equally distressing.

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She said: "We must recognise people's distress. We do recommend staff are trained in dealing sensitively with giving information."

Ms Lumsden said that while the new Nice guidelines were written for England and Wales they were likely to be used to inform practice in Scotland.