Bliss responds to MBRRACE report on Perinatal Mortality

Posted on June 15, 2018

A new report by MBRRACE was released today showing that neonatal and perinatal mortality rates remain stagnant. Read our response here.

A report published by MBRRACE has found that there has been very little change in the rate of neonatal deaths over a four year period.

MBRRACE found that the rate of neonatal mortality in the UK declined slightly over the period 2013 to 2016 from 1.84 to 1.72 deaths per 1000 live births.

The report also highlights the need for a greater focus on reducing preterm mortality, as about 70 per cent of all extended perinatal deaths occur before term, and nearly 40 per cent occur extremely preterm (at less than 28 weeks’ gestation).

In order for the Government to reach its ambition of reducing stillbirths and neonatal mortality rates, the report outlines the following recommendations:

  • A national forum should be established by NHS England, the Scottish government, NHS Wales and the Northern Ireland Department of Health in conjunction with professional bodies and national healthcare advisors to agree an appropriate benchmark against which stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates should be monitored across the UK.
  • The development of public health initiatives to reduce the impact of known risk factors for perinatal mortality such as smoking and obesity.
  • Counselling should be provided to bereaved parents in order to help them to make informed decisions about post-mortems.

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss said: “It is striking how much more there is still to do to reduce the number of babies who die. This latest report shows that there has been little change in the extended perinatal mortality rate in 2016 compared to the year before.

“The MBRRACE report adds to the multitude of evidence that the Government needs to make urgent investment into perinatal and neonatal care in order to give every baby the best possible chances of survival and quality of life.”