Sands and Tommy’s are forming a Joint Policy Unit, working together towards halving the number of UK baby deaths by ensuring decision makers have access to up-to-date information, and maternity policy is informed by robust evidence.
We are collaborating to pull together evidence and identify the key changes needed to save babies lives, reduce inequalities and improve outcomes. Annually in the UK over 5,000 babies are stillborn or die within the first four weeks of life, with 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage and around 60,000 babies born prematurely each year.
We know that 8 out of 10 term intrapartum stillbirths could be preventable with better care. Miscarriage is not ‘just one of those things’ – miscarriages need to be recorded, with standardised access to care across the UK and personal care pathways for women at highest risk. Successful tests and treatments to predict and prevent preterm birth have been developed, but at the moment access to these depends on where you live.
Tommy’s and Sands are members of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance leading a Maternity Consortium that includes National Maternity Voices (NMV), the Pregnancy and Baby Charities Network (PBCN) and a number of community organisations. We will use our collective expertise to join up national and local voices behind a common agenda – to reduce health inequalities for families throughout the whole pregnancy journey from pre-conception and through the first year of a baby’s life.
COVID-19 has cast a spotlight on the fragility of maternity safety initiatives as pressure on our stretched health and social care systems increased. We are now working together to help decision-makers ensure that babies are not at a higher risk of death because of postcode, ethnicity, or income.