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Medical negligence specialist welcomes plans to reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths

New drive to reduce life-changing brain injuries and deaths in new babies and mothers

Nurse wheeling hospial bed

16 November 2015

Medical negligence solicitor Sanja Strkljevic has welcomed the announcement by the Health Secretary of a new drive to halve the numbers of stillbirths and deaths amongst newborn babies and mothers in the UK.  

The Health Secretary wants to reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, baby brain injuries and maternal deaths by 20% by 2020, and 50% by 2030.

The plan also aims to reduce the number of babies suffering brain damage during, or soon after birth.

Sanja says : “It is still shocking that as recently as 2013 the UK had one of the highest rates of stillbirth in Europe and that the proportion of stillbirths in multiple births (for example, twins) rose by 13.6% between 2013 and 2014.”  

She welcomes plans to invest in NHS-wide systems for improving staff training, and sharing information to enable staff to review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death.

She also welcomes the announcement of investment in new digital equipment, such as cardio tachographs (CTGs) which monitor the baby’s heartbeat, and whose use has been shown to save lives.

Sanja comments:

“I particularly welcome the proposed greater transparency in the maternity services across England.

This should allow staff to learn from mistakes to prevent these tragic outcomes from occurring.  Our experience has shown that  stillbirths, maternal deaths or indeed neonatal deaths could often have been prevented with better training or better communication between staff.  

“While I welcome the initiative and the drive to improve patient safety, I hope that the Secretary of State will commit to proper levels of investment in maternity services throughout the UK to bring about these changes.”

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