latest health care news

28.11.17

Hunt: NHS must do more to stop 80% of preventable stillbirths

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt says the NHS must do more to learn from stillbirths in order to ensure no parents have to bear the “tragic death or life-changing injury of a baby.”

The statement follows the announcement of a new maternity strategy from the government aimed at reducing the 80% of preventable stillbirths in the UK.

Although full-term stillbirths will be investigated by coroners, families who suffer stillbirth or life-changing injuries to their babies will be offered an independent investigation to find out what went wrong and why.

The research will be referred to the newly formed Health Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB), which will standardise cases in an effort to understand these tragedies.

Hunt explained the decision: “The tragic death or life-changing injury of a baby is something no parent should have to bear, but one thing that can help in these agonising circumstances is getting honest answers quickly from an independent investigator. Too many families have been denied this in the past, adding unnecessarily to the pain of their loss.

“Countless mothers and fathers who have suffered like this say that the most important outcome for them is making sure lessons are learnt so that no one else has to endure the same heartbreak. These important changes will help us to make ‎that promise in the future.”

These plans have been spurred by the discovery that 80% of full-term stillbirths and deaths of babies are avoidable, revealed in an MBRRACE-UK study.

Analysis of 78 of the 225 deaths in 2015 showed that one in four caused by staff delaying the delivery of a baby or failing to check a heartbeat came down to “staffing or capacity problems.”

HSIB will begin investigations from April 2018, using the Each Baby Counts work from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to indicate.

Keith Conradi, the organisation’s chief investigator, who is featured in the latest edition of NHE (Nov/Dec), commented: “Every one of these cases represents a tragedy for the family involved and deserves the professional safety investigation that HSIB can deliver.

“Through working with families and staff and building on the principles of national investigations, HSIB will report on what happened, why it happened and make safety recommendations to help improve maternity safety for the future.”

As part of the plans, the government has also brought forward its target of halving the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries from 2030 to 2025.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

24/02/2020Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

Words by Dean Royles and Kevan Taylor, who continue their regular contribution to NHE’s blog content. Kevan and Dean work in organisations and systems providing strategi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >