According to the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership there are three years of national data about why babies die in England either missing or of such poor quality they will not be reported on. This will effectively mark a three year gap in an important national reporting system which has been in place for several decades.
These statistics are extremely important to Bliss and other organisations to understand why and how many babies are dying. This poses a real threat to improving the health of our children, particularly given that the UK has one of the worst child mortality rates in Europe.
Examination of the available data indicates that
- The cause of death coding was incomplete for 39% of cases.
- Mother’s age was missing for 4% of cases and ethnic group for 6%.
- Information about presentation at delivery and mode of delivery was missing for 11% and 13% of cases respectively; type of care at delivery was missing for 9%.
- Gestational age was missing for 3% and birth weight for 19%
The loss of this vital data is extremely regrettable. It is vital that lessons are learnt as the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership presses ahead with its new audit programme and we look forward to working with them to ensure the collection of accurate and reliable data on infant mortality in England.
More information can be found here hqip.org.uk/assets/Downloads/Report-on-2010-2011-2012-perinatal-mortality-data-FINAL.pdf