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Jeremy Hunt announces plans to halve baby deaths in UK

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

According to a 2011 study by the Lancet Medical Journal, it was found that England has higher figures than the rest of much of the developed world for stillbirths. As a result of this, and subsequent studies, Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to halve the number of stillbirths and new born deaths in the UK by 2030. On top of this, the health secretary also stated that the Government has committed to reducing the number of brain injuries sustained during or after birth.

The Lancet Medical Journal’s study found that the UK is number 33 out of 35 high-income countries for still birth rates. Sweden ranked much higher on the scale, with Hunt stating: “Countries like Sweden are proof that focusing on these issues can really improve safety – with the help of staff on the frontline, we can improve standards here at home.

£4million to invest in equipment

Hunt says that by encouraging the Government to work with consultants and midwives across the country, we can ensure that we are providing the best practice throughout the entire NHS. NHS Trusts will be given a percentage of over £4million to invest in digital equipment, such as cardiotocography (CTG) equipment to monitor babies’ heartbeats and quickly detect problems. Training will also be provided to staff.

A new system will also be set up which allows staff to review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death, with over £1million being invested into rolling out the training packages, (a system developed with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists).

Dr David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said: “We support this initiative and our important role in it as leaders of the profession. Good progress has been made but the fact is many of these incidents could be avoided with improvements to the care women and their babies receive.

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