Saving babies' lives stillbirth summit
On 4 February, the annual ‘Saving Babies Lives: Reducing Still Birth’ conference took place in central London. Lauren Newman reports on the presentations from the day
Given the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, which committed to expanding the Saving Babies' Lives Care Bundle (SBLCB), and the Government's target to halve the rates of stillbirth by 2025, this conference was a timely update for the range of health professionals in attendance. Nevertheless, Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of stillbirth charity Tommy's, challenged delegates further, to cut the incidence of stillbirth to less than 1000 per year, and making the UK the safest place in the world to give birth.
This was followed by a talk from David Monteith, who delivered an emotional and evocative account of his daughter Grace, whose death inspired the charity Grace in Action. Beginning the day with a parent's story was an effective reminder of the difference that data, funding and training can make.
It seemed only appropriate that this very personal account was followed by two of the leading authorities in stillbirth policy and research, Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women's Health at NHS England, and Professor Elizabeth Draper, leader of the MBRRACE-UK collaborators. The first of these talks outlined how the new Long Term Plan would improve safety through greater continuity of carer, an expanded SBLCB, and improved review procedures. While it was positive to see so many solutions, it was also acknowledged that improvement would require a life course approach, based on a long-term aggregation of marginal gains.
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