Report published on stillbirth and newborn baby death rates across the UK

A leading medical negligence lawyer has joined calls for NHS Trusts to do more following the publication of a new report by an inquiry looking into stillbirth and newborn baby death rates across the UK.

Medical negligence lawyer Sanja Strkljevic, who specialises in claims arising from childbirth, called for all Trusts to take immediate action to review their services and for those with high mortality rates, to urgently address the issue.

A national team from MBRRACE (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK) recommended that more than 20 NHS Trusts and Health Boards in the UK should investigate why they have a higher rate of stillbirths and neonatal deaths than others.

The Supplementary Report for Health Trusts and Boards on Perinatal mortality for births in 2013 published today in addition to its report in June 2015, showed the UK performing poorly against comparable countries for stillbirths and neonatal deaths – defined as within 28 days of birth.

Today’s report also showed that pregnancies in women living in the UK’s poorest areas were over 50% more likely to end in stillbirth or neonatal death.

Sanja Strkljevic from the medical negligence team at Leigh Day, said:

“I am particularly concerned that out of 162 Trusts, 21 have been identified as Trusts which should hold a review with a further 52 Trusts advised to consider a review. This means that nearly half of the NHS Trusts in the UK providing maternity services must take immediate action to review their services.

“No doubt the most obvious question they need to investigate is why babies in their care die in the first 28 days of their lives or are born stillborn and how this can translate into providing better care to those very vulnerable patients.”