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Specialist NHS centres aim to halve maternity deaths in England

Women at risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth will be treated at a network of specialist NHS centres under a national drive to halve maternal deaths.

For the first time, women in England with conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy or cancer will have access to specialist care from doctors trained to treat medical problems in pregnancy.

Two thirds of maternal deaths in the UK are due to medical conditions that pre-date or develop during pregnancy, rather than direct complications of birth. Previously there was no dedicated national service for these women.

The 17 NHS centres, covering every region of the country, aim to prevent these deaths by bringing together specialist doctors, obstetricians, midwives and nurses under one roof.

GPs and A&E staff will also be trained to identify “red flag” symptoms of illnesses in pregnant women and refer patients directly to the centres, where they can be assessed and receive medication or procedures.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 20 March 2023


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