Tommy’s and Sands announce joint fetal movements study

Following the work of AFFIRM, Tommy’s and Sands announce plans to jointly fund a study looking at the cost effectiveness of the package of care for pregnant women for reduced movements.

Tommy's news, 31/10/2018

Tommy’s and Sands are pleased to announce a jointly-funded new research project looking at the cost-effectiveness of a package of care for pregnant women when their baby’s movements are reduced.

The study will be led by Dr Elizabeth Camacho at the University of Manchester.

A reduction in movements can sometimes be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell.

This study will build on the findings from a recently-completed research trial which tested whether this package of care can reduce stillbirth.

It combines raising pregnant women’s awareness of the importance of fetal movements, with a focused approach to treatment when a reduction is reported.

As well as understanding whether changes to women’s care in pregnancy improve outcomes it is also important to know whether they are cost-effective.This project will use information from the AFFIRM study, the largest study of a care package about reduced fetal movements, to understand the implications of rolling this strategy out into the NHS. This information will help us develop strategies to improve outcomes for mothers and babies which can be implemented in our clinical work.

Prof Alexander Heazell, Clinical Director of the Tommy's stillbirth research centre. 

It’s important to find out if the care package is cost-effective or not because it will inform decisions about whether to implement the care package across the UK in other NHS Trusts.

This new study will estimate the cost of providing the care package and also the cost of interventions, such as scans or induction of labour which may be used more or less as a consequence of the care package.

The study will explore how much it might cost to roll out the package of care across the NHS and how many stillbirths may be prevented at that scale.

Robust evidence is needed to further persuade the NHS that it is worthwhile investing in preventing stillbirth by alerting mothers to reduced fetal movements and taking their concerns seriously when they present at hospital. We must remember that parents never recover from losing a baby and their distress is compounded by knowing that their baby might have lived if issues were detected in time.

Jane Brewin, Tommy’s Chief Executive

Tommy’s and Sands are passionately committed to supporting research that will reduce stillbirths.

We hope this work will provide important information which can be used by service planners to improve care to prevent avoidable baby deaths.

Reporting reduced fetal movements

Are you worried about your baby’s reduced movements? This leaflet outlines the care that you should expect to receive, depending on which stage of the pregnancy you are at.