Two reports published today - the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool’s (PMRT) first annual report and MBRRACE-UK’s 2019 report - give a vital insight into the numbers of babies who die before or shortly after birth in the UK, and what lessons can be learned to save babies' lives in the future.

Kate Mulley, Director of Research, Education and Policy at Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said:

“The Perinatal Mortality Review Tool’s (PMRT) first annual report represents a milestone in improving our understanding of why babies die in the UK. At its heart, it recognises the need for every parent to know as much as possible about what happened to their baby and why he or she died. The analysis of the PMRT’s first 1,500 cases, is published against the commitment to halve stillbirth and neonatal mortality by 2025.

“While MBRRACE-UK’s 2019 report shows a 12% reduction in extended perinatal mortality from 2013 to 2017, it is still the case that one in every 150 baby dies before birth or within the first 4 weeks of life and more than 5,000 families are bereaved every year in the UK when a baby dies. To reach a halving of rates in the next 6 years will require renewed focus.

“Robust review provides that focus; the strong messages and clear action plans that emerge from it, have the power to change practice and prevent avoidable harm. The development of the PMRT represents a true collaboration of clinicians, policy makers, researchers, and parents who have worked tirelessly for many years to arrive at this point. Today, more families are being heard and more health professionals supported in understanding where lessons learned might save lives, than ever before.”

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