Perinatal Mortality

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 April 2024.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled A comparison of the care of Asian and White women who have experienced a stillbirth or neonatal death, published by the MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Confidential Enquiry on 14 December 2023, what recent discussions her Department has had with NHS England on ensuring that women (a) from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and (b) at risk of premature birth are offered the (i) tests and (ii) medication that are recommended by NHS guidelines.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

Departmental and NHS England colleagues meet regularly to discuss initiatives to reduce disparities in maternity and neonatal outcomes, and pre-term births. NHS England has invested £6.8 million into their Equity and Equality guidance, which focuses on actions to reduce disparities for women and babies, including for those living in the most deprived areas. It sets out actions and expectations on Local Maternity and Neonatal Systems to consider complex social factors and adhere to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidelines regarding maternity care.

All National Health Service trusts are now implementing the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle (SBLCB), which provides up-to-date, evidence-based best practice regarding reducing perinatal mortality, including guidance around reducing preterm birth. The SBLCB recommends a universal risk assessment of all women for preterm birth at their antenatal booking appointment, with those at higher and intermediate risk being offered a care pathway designed to reduce the chances of preterm birth.

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