Health written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch Conservative, Chatham and Aylesford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the potential benefits of pre-term at-risk profiling to (a) identify women at risk of stillbirth, (b) ensure those at risk receive increased monitoring and preventative measures and (c) reduce potentially damaging stress on those who are in an at-risk group but are not themselves at risk.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

At their booking appointment, women will be assessed for risk factors for stillbirth. These range from social and lifestyle factors to clinical ones such as previous history of stillbirth. Such risk profiling helps to determine the appropriate care a woman will receive. Once a woman is identified at risk due to fetal growth restriction or other risk, increased surveillance can be instigated, including a plan for delivery. In conjunction with SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, the Department is currently considering a public awareness campaign to highlight risk factors for stillbirth. NHS England has taken part in these discussions.

In line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines: risk profiling allows for increased surveillance of at risk women and this, coupled with better scanning and detection of growth-restricted babies, allows women in at risk groups to be clearer about their own personal level of risk.

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