Today the Sands & Tommy’s Joint Policy Unit is calling on all political parties to commit to the transformative change needed to save more babies’ lives. 

The 'Priorities for the next government' document sets out what the next government must do to deliver safer maternity and neonatal services, so that fewer babies die and inequalities in loss are eliminated.

In the UK, at least 1 in 5 stillbirths and neonatal deaths may have been prevented with better care, according to current estimates. This equates to over 800 babies’ a year - over 25 classrooms full of children whose lives could have been saved. If their care had been delivered in line with nationally-agreed standards, these babies could be here today.

"There is still a long way to go to make the UK the safest place in the world to have a baby. Despite increasing policy focus on maternity safety over recent years, the fundamental change required to ensure safe, equitable care for all is not happening. According to most recent data, progress to reduce rates of deaths is slowing or reversing and experiences of care are deteriorating."  

- Robert Wilson, Head of Sands and Tommy's Joint Policy Unit

The Sands and Tommy’s Joint Policy Unit is focused on achieving policy change so that fewer babies die, and inequalities in baby loss eliminated. 

Our priorities for the next government

  • Renewing the national maternity safety ambitions: We are not on track to meet the current ambitions. The next government must commit to renew and enhance these ambitions, with a focus on making the UK the safest place in the world to have a baby.
  • Eliminating inequalities in pregnancy and baby loss: There are stark and persistent inequalities in baby loss, particularly by ethnicity and deprivation. The next government must make a strong commitment to eliminating inequalities, underpinned by a comprehensive programme of research and improvement.
  • Delivering a fully funded workforce: There are particularly acute staffing issues in maternity services which are impacting the delivery of safe care. The next government must ensure the commitments made in the Workforce Plan are backed by adequate funding and expand the wider maternity and neonatal workforce so that nobody is without the care they need.
  • Putting in place a system that supports safe care: We are still not learning lessons when babies die.  The next government must move from supporting individual services which are deemed to be outliers, towards a comprehensive national approach, which addresses the fundamental issues and puts in place the key elements of a safe system.
  • Providing the best possible support throughout pregnancy and following loss: There are currently too many gaps in the support available throughout pregnancy and baby loss. Building on recent commitments, the next government must allocate funding to ensure services can provide the best possible support and care.

Download our ‘Priorities for the next government’ document 

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