Following on from last month’s Panorama, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have launched a new five-year initiative, “Each Baby Counts”, to help reduce the UK’s stillbirth rates. They aim to reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries as a result of incidents during full-term labour by 2020.
Stillbirth rates in the UK remain unacceptably high. According to the RCOG, current estimates suggest that around 500 babies a year die or are left severely disabled as a result of something going wrong in labour. The starvation of oxygen at birth can lead to severe brain injury such as cerebral palsy. The RCOG does not accept that all of these are unavoidable tragedies and has committed to halving the number by 2020.
From January 2015, the RCOG will start collecting and analysing data to improve future care. For the first time, information will be shared nationally. Jane Brewin, CEO of Tommy’s states that “recognition that some stillbirths are preventable feeds into a wider change in mindset across the field and we can now see real and meaningful action starting to take shape”. Jane goes onto correctly state that “..Whilst this is an important step forward towards saving babies’ lives, it’s only part of the answer”, referring to the fact that far more needs to be done in terms of carrying out research to learn why babies die in pregnancy with this accounting for the majority of stillbirth cases.
The UK’s stillbirth rates during pregnancy need to be reduced as well as those that occur during pregnancy but for now, Each Baby Counts” is a step in the right direction after decades of doing virtually nothing.
If you or a loved one would like to discuss a stillbirth compensation claim or neonatal death compensation claim, please do not hesitate to contact us.