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Government pledges to halve stillbirths and infant deaths

Government pledges to halve stillbirths and infant deaths

A new ambition to halve stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths will be unveiled by Health Minister Ben Gummer today (Friday 13th November). 

This comes as the UK continues to have one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world. 

The government will provide £4million to health trusts across, to buy state-of-the-art digital equipment and roll out training to support staff across the country. 

This includes a £2.24 million fund to support trusts to buy cutting edge monitoring or training equipment to improve safety, such as cardiotocography (CTG) equipment to monitor baby’s heartbeats, something which can be pivotal in detecting problems early and allowing staff to intervene quickly, or training mannequins upon which staff can practise emergency procedures.

The number of brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth will also be targeted as part of a new commitment by the government, in partnership with top consultants, midwives and other experts across this country, to ensure England is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. 

Minister for Care Quality Ben Gummer said:

Although the stillbirth rate has decreased in recent years, it remains one of the worst in the developed world

“Although the stillbirth rate has decreased in recent years, it is still far too high and remains one of the worst in the developed world. Today’s ambition underlines our firm support for the NHS to deliver the very best and safest care across the country – through cutting-edge technology, specialist training and working closely with Royal Colleges to reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries.

“With greater transparency and a record number of midwives, we will support local maternity services to make sure every baby and mother receives consistently high quality care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through this exciting campaign, we will reduce the number of families going through the heartache of stillbirth, brain injury or a mother's death."

The ambition is to reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth to 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. 

 
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