Impact of Tommy's clinics
All of the work at our clinics has the goal of improving health outcomes and developing evidence based practice to reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.
As part of our innovative research model, each research centre is associated with a number of NHS antenatal clinics and recurrent miscarriage clinics. At these clinics, members of our research team translate medical research into clinical practice in real-time. This means that patients can access cutting-edge clinical care, as well as have the opportunity to participate in medical trials.
Tommys National Centre for Miscarriage Research
Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research runs recurrent miscarriage clinics across 3 different sites in the UK.
- Birmingham Women's Hospital
- University Hospital Coventry
- Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital and St Mary's Hospital, London
At our recurrent miscarriage clinics, women and their partners are given the opportunity to take part in research trials, accessing cutting-edge treatments and tests.
“The staff at the Tommy’s clinic at Birmingham Women’s Hospital seemed to understand how we felt and didn’t diminish what we’d been through. For the first time we felt hope. In the end, Tommy’s gave us more than hope; they gave us our rainbow baby.”
Kirsty from Preston had 3 miscarriages before she was referred to Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research clinic in Birmingham. She gave birth to her rainbow baby in 2019. Read Kirsty’s story here.
- Number of patient seen in the clinics: In total, our clinics saw 10,056 patients between October 2021 and September 2022. Approximately 82% of patients attending our clinics during this time were from the local population, and 18% were from elsewhere in the UK and even abroad.
- New recurrent miscarriage referrals: 4,592
- Early pregnancy consultations: 5,464
- Individuals recruited to pregnancy-related clinical trials: In total, 2,053 individuals were recruited between October 2021 and September 2022 to pregnancy related clinical studies in progress at our centres. (Birmingham: 491, Coventry: 1200, Imperial: 389).
- Impact on miscarriage rates: The focus of our centre's research is the prevention of miscarriage but at present the national average from miscarriage rates in not known. One of our aims is to establish the miscarriage rates across our clinics. 76% of women and 54% of couples that attended the recurrent miscarriage clinic had a viable pregnancy within two years of attending. This is comparable with other data sets in this area.
- Delivery of care in clinics: Across Birmingham, Coventry and Imperial, our clinical research fellows, PhD students, research midwives and nurses, and staff involved in clinical trial recruitment and research give over 360 hours a week on activities that contribute to the delivery of care in the clinics. This includes providing direct care in clinics, recruiting patients to trials, taking samples, performing ultrasounds and providing support and advice to women and birthing people with pregnancy loss.
Tommy's Manchester Research Centre
Our dedicated team of researchers in Manchester run a network of 6 research clinics. At our clinics, we offer specialist care to women at high risk of pregnancy loss. These women have a chance to take part in clinical studies that improve our understanding of stillbirth, fetal growth restriction, hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. The clinics allow us to translate research breakthroughs into clinical practice.
- The Rainbow Clinic
- Manchester Placenta Clinic
- The Manchester Antenatal Vascular Service (MAViS)
- The Diabetes Clinic (VELOCITY)
- The Lupus in Pregnancy Clinic (LiPS)
- START Clinic
Our model is very successful. Since 2010, our research centre has reduced the stillbirth rate in the Greater Manchester area by 32% against a much lower national average rate of reduction.
At our clinics, we offer patients the latest evidence-based tests and treatments, and give them the opportunity to participate in clinical trials to advance our life-saving research. In 2022, we:
- Performed 6,000 ultrasound scans in our clinics; which equates to approximately 500 women scanned per month, and is over a 600 more than in 2020/21.
- Recruited a total of 2,238 participants to clinical trials at our centre (829 to trials funded by Tommy’s and 1,409 to trials funded from external sources).
- Received a 100% patient score from women surveyed from October 2021 to September 2022 when asked if they would recommend our clinics to their friends and family.
“The Rainbow clinic scans were so reassuring. We don’t know why our daughter died at full term but we had been told its likely due to the placenta failing. Alex’s scans and explanations of how the placenta is working has reassured us so much."
We have now treated 35 women with Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI) attending the research clinics who have received a bespoke treatment plan for this condition. To date, all pregnancies continuing beyond 20 weeks’ gestation ended in a live birth. This is particularly remarkable given that CHI is a condition with a 50% mortality rate.
- Over the eight years that the translational clinics have been in place at St Mary’s Hospital, there has been over 50% reduction in the number of babies with Fetal Growth Restriction born after 38 weeks.
- The Rainbow Clinic, which provides specialist support in pregnancy following a stillbirth or neonatal death, has now been adopted by all maternity care providers in the Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Network. Since first opening in 2013, it has supported over 900 families. There are 25 active Rainbow Clinics, with another 3 sites awaiting set up.
- The stillbirth rate at the Oxford Road Campus of Saint Mary's Hospital, which hosts the Research Centre, is 5 per 1,000 births. In 2017, this rate was 6.65 per 1,000 births, which is a reduction of 25%.
“We can’t thank you enough for seeing us with our 2nd pregnancy. You’ve given us hope to dream again, that we might actually bring home Eliza’s sister. Thank you. Totally worth the 3-hour drive each way. We’d do it again in a heartbeat.”