Nearly a fifth of trusts providing maternity care have been red rated for their infant mortality rates in a national audit.
Twenty-three trusts were flagged for their perinatal mortality in the latest Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audit and Confidential Enquiries audit for maternity services. Trusts with mortality rates more than 5% higher than an average of peer group providers are given a red rating.
The report was published last month and looked at data for 2020. Average perinatal mortality rates have been falling across England since 2013, although there is significant variation across England.
Six trusts in the latest audit were red rated for both stillbirths and neonatal mortality; Buckinghamshire Healthcare; Gloucestershire Hospitals; University Hospitals Dorset; Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals; University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire; and University Hospitals of Leicester.
Twenty-three trusts rated red on a combined perinatal mortality indicator (including the six listed above). For 17 of them, their mortality rates were not high enough on one of the stillbirth or neonatal measures to be red rated, but sufficiently high enough on both indicators to tip their overall extended overall perinatal rating into the red.
Andrew Furlong, medical director of University Hospitals Leicester, said: “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.”
These include aiming to improve access to interpreters, provide clearer medical review guidelines, and update ultrasound scanning processes, he added.
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Source: HSJ, 21 November 2022