A report published by national charity Baby Lifeline in November 2018 has found that as many as three out of every four baby deaths or injuries were avoidable.
Its Mind the Gap report also found that midwives, doctors, paramedics and nurses were either unaware of or ignored official guidelines when caring for women experiencing a difficult labour.
The findings also revealed that less than 8% of NHS Trusts provided staff with all the training components in NHS England’s ‘Saving Babies Lives – Care Bundle for Reducing Stillbirths’.
The care bundle includes:
- Reducing smoking in pregnancy
- Risk assessment and surveillance for fetal growth restrictions
- Raising awareness of reduced fetal movement
- Effective fetal monitoring during labour
Less than two fifths (38%) of NHS Trusts recorded staff training attendance at 90% or over with the lack of training provision mainly due to staffing and availability of finance while staff sickness was the key reason for reduced attendance.
The report further highlights the growing crisis in maternity units and the critical need for more funding and adequate training levels.
The government provided £8.1 million of funding for maternity training in 2017 and has pledged to increase the number of midwives but more is required to raise maternity care standards.