Neonatal death rates remain stagnant for third year in row

Posted on August 06, 2019

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Bliss has raised its concerns that neonatal mortality rates in England and Wales remain almost unchanged for the third consecutive year.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) published its latest report on ‘Deaths registered in England and Wales’ earlier today.

Justin Irwin, Chief Executive of the premature and sick baby charity Bliss said: “Losing a baby has a devastating impact on the families behind these statistics every day across the UK. Today’s figures show the neonatal death rate has remained stagnant. While there has been a small reduction in the neonatal mortality rate between 2018 and 2017 – falling to 2.8 per 1,000 births from 2.9 per 1,000 births – this is still higher than the all-time low of 2.7 achieved between 2013 and 2015. This has to be a wake-up call for Government. The National Ambition to halve neonatal death in England by 2025 will not be achieved unless swift action is taken to reduce this figure at a greater pace.

“The Government and NHS must redouble their efforts to introduce the improvements to neonatal care as outlined in the NHS Long term Plan. We urge the Government to ensure sufficient resources are made available to fully implement the recommendations of the Neonatal Critical Care Review, in order to ensure that every baby born premature or sick is cared for in the right level of neonatal unit which is suited to their needs, with the right numbers of expert staff – so that every baby has the best chance of survival.’’

Read the report in full here.