Impact of Tommy's clinics 2019

Our NHS supported specialist clinics deliver high-quality care, enabling improved recruitment to clinical trials and faster implementation of research findings.

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All of our clinic work has the goal of improving health outcomes and developing evidence based practice to reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.

Tommy’s funds 5 pioneering research centres across the country. 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.

Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research

Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research runs recurrent miscarriage clinics across 3 different sites in the UK.

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. Read Kirsty’s story here.

Clinic highlights 2019

  • High patient satisfaction levels: 100% of patients reported that the clinical staff at our clinic at Birmingham Women’s Hospital always explained things in a way that they could understand and expressed that they had always been kept informed about their care. At our Coventry clinic, 100% of patients reported the service given as excellent and said they would recommend it to a friend in a similar situation.
  • Number of patients seen in the clinics: In total, our clinics saw around 17,000 patients between 2018-2019. 77% of patients attending our clinics over the past year were from the local population and 23% were from elsewhere in the UK
  • Individuals recruited to pregnancy-related clinical trials: In total, over 2000 individuals were recruited over the past year to pregnancy related clinical trials at our research centres.
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Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre

Our dedicated team of researchers in Manchester run a network of 5 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.

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.

Clinic highlights 2019

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 2019, we:

  • performed 4,664 ultrasound scans in our clinics. This equates to approximately 388 women scanned per month, or 90 scans per week.
  • recruited a total of 1,138 participants to clinical trials at our centre
  • improved our patient experience score from 62% in 2016 to an average of 88% in 2019

In 2019, we treated 35 women with a rare condition called Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI) at our clinic. These women received a treatment plan using antenatal immunosuppressive therapies. To date, all pregnancies that continued beyond 20 weeks’ gestation ended in a live birth. This is particularly remarkable given that CHI is a condition with a 50% mortality rate.

Outcomes are improved for women who are cared for at our clinics: since 2010, the stillbirth rate at St Mary’s Hospital has fallen from 6.9 per 1,000 live births to 4.7 per 1,000 in 2018.

10 years of the Manchester Placenta Clinic

In 2019, we celebrated 10 years since we opened the Manchester Placenta Clinic. The clinic was set up to deepen our understanding of the devastating pregnancy complications that can result in placental dysfunction. The clinic focuses on women with fetal growth restriction, and provides these women with extra scans using the latest technologies to monitor their pregnancies.

The clinic has also collected a large amount of information and created a substantial and robust dataset that enables us to improve patient care. In 2019 alone, our clinic scanned over 2,600 women and collected data and biological samples from over 1,000 women.

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Tommy’s London Research Centre

Our research centre in London is home to 3 flagship research clinics which provide exemplary evidence-based care to women with high-risk pregnancies and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

The clinics provide best practice care and recruit women to participate in research. The information and samples collected are vital for our researchers, enabling them to explore promising areas and make significant discoveries that will improve the chances of at-risk babies.

  • Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic
  • The Hypertension in Pregnancy (HiP) Clinic
  • Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic

Clinic highlights 2019

Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic

  • Our clinic has been a driving force for the adoption of universal screening for all women in the UK who are thought to be at risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • We support over 600 women a year in our clinic and and have seen approximately 1,600 women in the last 2.5 years.
  • The recently released National Pregnancy in Diabetes audit data, which documents demographics and outcomes in pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes, shows that we are exceeding national figures in the number of women with type 1 diabetes that we see prior to 10 weeks gestation. In our clinic, we are seeing 85% of women compared to the national average of 75.7%. Moreover, we have recorded 29.4% of pretermature deliveries (babies born before 37 weeks) in women with type 1 diabetes at our centre compared to the national average of 43.9%.

Tommy’s Preterm Birth Surveillance Clinic

  • Thousands of high-risk patients accessing specialist support: In 2019, over 2300 patients were supported by clinicians at our preterm birth clinic in London. This equates to nearly 620 per week appointments per week.
  • Cutting-edge procedures: 30 transabdominal cerclages were given to high risk mums reducing their risk of preterm birth.
  • Individuals recruited to pregnancy-related clinical trials: In total, 553 individuals were recruited over the past year to pre-term birth related clinical trials.

The Hypertension in Pregnancy Clinic (HiP)

  • Complex case referrals: In 2019, the clinic received approximately 12-15 new high-risk referrals per month.
  • Patients accessing specialist care: In total, over 1000 patients received care at our specialist hypertension clinics in 2019.
  • Individuals recruited to pregnancy-related clinical trials: In total, 484 individuals were recruited over the past year to pre-term birth related clinical trials.
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Tommy’s Edinburgh Research Centre

Our research centre in Edinburgh is home to 2 flagship research clinics which provide evidence-based care to women with high-risk pregnancies and improve the chances of mothers having a healthy baby.

Clinic highlights 2019

The Preterm Birth Clinic

  • 160 women at very high risk of preterm birth were referred to the clinic.
  • 7 staff were accredited for cervical length scanning, having received training in management of women at high risk of pre-term birth.
  • We have started offering postnatal counselling for women in Lothian who have a preterm birth or pregnancy loss below 28 weeks.
  • We are in discussions with the Scottish Government about care pathways for high risk women and are working with NHS colleagues to rollout a virtual diabetes clinic.

Preterm birth can be very difficult to predict. However, our clinic now has a high-tech 3D/4D detailed scanner which is helping us to more accurately predict and diagnose preterm labour through measuring the cervix. The shorter the cervix, the higher the risk of a preterm delivery.

The Metabolic Antenatal Clinic

  • In 2019, our specialist clinic supported 270 women and conducted 1,550 appointments. The clinic follows high risk pregnancies very carefully, detecting potentially life-threatening problems early so they can offer timely intervention, personalised treatment and careful monitoring of the pregnancy.
  • Obese women are 8 times less likely to have a stillbirth at our clinic than by attending a regular maternity ward.
  • Feedback from women who attend is universally positive with 100% of women being either very satisfied or satisfied with their overall experience.
  • In 2019, Elaine Jack, our Tommy’s research midwife, has worked towards establishing a community engagement programme with our community midwives in Lothian. The aim of this is programme is to increase knowledge about Tommy’s and the research we conduct.
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Read more about the impact of our work

  • Research icon

    Impact of Tommy's research centres 2019

    Tommy's research centres produce high quality, relevant research to provide improved evidence needed for new understanding, new treatments and new and updated guidelines. This research will lead to the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth decreasing.

  • Pregnant woman icon

    Impact of Tommy's PregnancyHub

    Tommy's PregnancyHub informs and empowers families to make healthy behaviour and lifestyle choices, through evidence-based, high-quality information, ultimately leading to a reduction in the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.

  • A chalk drawing of a graph showing a decline in numbers

    Baby loss rates in the UK

    All of Tommy's work has the same goal. To reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth. These are the rates of stillbirth, miscarriage and preterm births in the UK.

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