The House of Commons library has published The Investigation of Still birth. This briefing document deals with the way stillbirth is investigated at present and the Government announcement about independent investigations in future.
The Department of Health has now published Safer Maternity Care: the National Maternity Safety Strategy progress and next steps. This document reports on progress and next steps with implementation of the safer maternity care action plan and sets out measures for further and quicker improvement. The Department has also published ‘Brain injury report’ which provides a working definition of brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth, and presents national annual brain injury rates from 2010 to 2015 for England
Families who suffer stillbirth or life-changing injuries to their babies will be offered an independent investigation to find out what went wrong and why. The government is also bringing forward from 2030 to 2025 the ambition to halve rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth.
Download the full report here Read the DH press release here Royal College of Midwives press release here
This report from MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK) looks at the quality of care received by babies who were either still born or who died shortly after birth. It provides a picture of current challenges faced by maternity and neonatal units and an opportunity to improve services for women and families and prevent similar deaths in the future. This type of death occurred in 225 pregnancies in 2015 in the UK. Findings from the report include:
The rate of term, singleton, intrapartum stillbirth and intrapartum-related neonatal death has more than halved since 1993 representing a reduction of around 220 intrapartum deaths per year.
Capacity issues were identified as a problem in over a quarter of the cases undergoing panel review. The majority of staffing and capacity problems were related to delivery suite.
The panel consensus was that in nearly 80% of deaths improvements in care were identified which may have made a difference to the outcome for the baby
There is an increasing proportion of births to mothers who have risk factors associated with an increased risk of perinatal death
As well as the full report available here, you can read a lay summary here
an executive report and lay summary here
an infographic here.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) have responded to the report here.
A joint response from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists/Royal College of Midwives is also available here
The Twins and Multiple Births Associations (Tamba) has published Twin pregnancy and neonatal care in England: a Tamba report November 2017. This report includes information from neonatal networks for stillbirth rates, neonatal death rates, NICE compliance and neonatal admissions for twins. The authors suggest admissions of twins to neonatal units could be reduced by a third per year if all neonatal networks had the lowest admission rate.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published Each Baby Counts 2015. Each Baby Counts is the RCOG’s national quality improvement programme to reduce the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled as a result of incidents occurring during term labour. The report presents key findings and recommendations based on the analysis of complete data relating to term stillbirths, neonatal deaths and babies with brain injuries born during 2015, the first full year of the programme.
The London Maternity Clinical Network, NHS England and the Stillbirth and Neonatal death charity (SANDS) has published Gathering feedback from families following the death of their baby: A resource to support professionals in maternity care. Many parents who have experienced bereavement want to offer feedback to ensure lessons are learned and good practice is shared. The Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure questionnaire and supporting resource is designed to seek feedback from bereaved parents where a baby or babies have died during pregnancy or shortly after birth. It should also enable commissioners and providers to collect and understand women’s insight from all communities, cultures and ethnic groups to help explore where local improvements may be needed
MBRRACE-UK has published Perinatal mortality surveillance report: UK perinatal deaths for births from January to December 2015. The report examines rates of stillbirth and neonatal death across the UK for babies born at 24 weeks of gestation or more. It found that in 2015 the stillbirth rate was 3.87 per 1,000 total births, a fall from 4.20 per 1,000 total births in 2013. However this is still high compared to many similar European countries and there remains significant variation across the UK.
“Those Trusts and Health Boards identified with high rates of stillbirth or neonatal death rates should review the quality of the care they provide. Work commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership is underway to develop a standardised perinatal mortality review tool to support and improve the quality of review of all stillbirths and neonatal deaths within all Trusts and Health Boards in the future”
Dr Brad Manktelow, associate professor at the University of Leicester, who led the statistical analysis