Leading baby loss charities Sands, Tommy's, Bliss, and Tamba are jointly calling on the Government to redouble efforts to meet their ambition to halve the rate of stillbirth and babies dying shortly after birth by 2025.
Figures for England published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlight that while the rate of stillbirths is reducing, there is still a long way to go to meet the Government’s ambition to reduce this by 50% by 2025. The rate of babies dying shortly after birth has plateaued.
Jane Brewin, Chief Executive at Tommy’s, said: "The fall in the number of stillbirths in recent years is welcome, but we need renewed momentum and new prevention strategies to bring rates down considerably further, if we are to stay on track to meet the government’s ambition to halve these deaths by 2025. The lack of progress with neonatal deaths in the last two years is particularly concerning. It is no good reducing stillbirths if more babies are instead dying soon after birth.”
These figures highlight that while stillbirths will be reduced by 20% by 2020, the rate of babies dying shortly after birth has been increasing since 2014. There is much more to be done to reach the ambition of a 50% reduction in baby deaths by 2025.
It’s clear that baby deaths are higher in more socially deprived areas – we urgently need to understand better why this is the case and new strategies to tackle this inequality.