Our mission is to make the UK the safest place to give birth, halving the number of babies who die in pregnancy and birth by 2030.
We want every pregnant woman to have access to the very best care and treatments available. We are committed to driving up care maternity standards across the UK so that fewer families experience the heartbreak of baby loss. One of the most effective ways that Tommy’s can achieve this vision is by supporting medical research.
Every paper published by Tommy’s researchers helps to increase understanding and can lead to new treatments and updated guidelines which have the potential to reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.
In the UK, approximately 1 in 250 pregnancies end in stillbirth, which equates to around 2,900 babies dying each year.
Often, parents are given no reason for their loss, and are left to cope with little support. Our research centre in Manchester was created to find answers for these families through pioneering research into stillbirth and its associated pregnancy complications. We are delighted to share with you the activities and achievements of our centre from 2022.
“Our vision is to find solutions to pregnancy problems through research excellence. We deliver world-class advances in pregnancy research to inform better clinical care, policy and practice that will improve outcomes for mothers and families.”
Professor Alex Heazell, Clinical director of Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre
2022 research highlights
Improving maternity care
Across the UK there are wide variations in maternity care as well as stillbirth and premature birth rates. This is in part due to variations in the way that guidelines are implemented locally and is leading to inefficient use of healthcare resources as well as worsening health inequalities for underserved groups. Our current method of assessing risk during pregnancy has remained unchanged since the 1970s, with midwives and doctors using a checklist to classify women and birthing people as either 'high' or 'low' risk. This does not measure how high or low the risk is and so does not allow for personalised care.
The Tommy's National Centre for Maternity Improvement, in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has developed The Tommy's Pathway: a clinical decision support tool - an online medical tool that will help healthcare providers work out which pregnant women and birthing people are most at risk of giving birth prematurely or developing complications that can lead to stillbirth. It will also empower women and pregnant people to become more engaged in their own care.