One in five NHS trusts branded ‘red’ for baby death rates

22 November 2022, 08:01

Gloucestershire Hospitals was one of the six trusts given the 'red' rating
Gloucestershire Hospitals was one of the six trusts given the 'red' rating. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Almost 20% of NHS trusts have been given a ‘red’ rating for infant mortality rates.

23 trusts were given the rating in 2020, meaning the death rate for babies was more than five per cent higher than average, the Daily Mail reports.

The report from Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audit and Confidential Enquiries (MBRRACE) examined stillbirths and deaths within four weeks of birth.

Another report from the group found the number of women who died within six weeks of giving birth had gone up by a quarter over five years.

229 mothers died alongside 27 of their babies from 2018 to 2020 - and many of the deaths were found to be ‘avoidable.’

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In the audit, six trusts were marked as red for their stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates when they were measured individually. The other 17 trusts were marked red after the two separate measures were combined for an overall rating.

Six trusts rated red for both stillbirth and neonatal births were:

  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals
  • University Hospitals Dorset
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals
  • University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire
  • University Hospitals of Leicester

Andrew Furlong, medical director of University Hospitals of Leicester, told Health Service Journal: “Where learnings have been identified from reviews of care, we have developed robust action plans and strengthened care practice to shape and improve future services.”

An NHS England spokesman said it was supporting trusts and health systems to improve maternity and neonatal care.

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