Poor antenatal care for multiple births
Posted: November 29, 2015
Posted in: Medical Negligence
A report published following research carried out by the Twins and Multiple Births Association and the NCT reveals that women expecting multiple births are receiving poor antenatal care in some areas of England. Guidelines laid down by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2011 and quality standards in 2013 on antenatal care have not been implemented in full in 80-90% of UK units. The survey of 1400 patients revealed that services in the North East of England were the best, while the South East and West Midlands received the worst antenatal care.
The guidelines stipulate that women expecting multiple babies should be under the care of a named midwife, sonographer and obstetrician with specialist training and knowledge of multiple pregnancies. However the study revealed that only 20% of women saw a named midwife, 28% saw a specialist sonographer and one in three, a named specialist obstetrician.
13.6% increase in stillbirths
The importance of specialist teams is paramount as multiple pregnancies have a greater neonatal death rate and risk of health problems and disabilities after birth. The latest figures for stillbirths show that between 2013 and 2014 rates for multiple births increased by 13.6%.
Regional differences are stark, with 7.8% of women seeing a specialist midwife in East Midlands as compared to 48% in the North East.
Director of midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton, described the situation as “extremely worrying”. She went on to say that “it is crucial that we find out why this is happening and take steps to address it. The fact that so few trusts are implementing the guidelines is also a real concern. The guidelines are there for a reason and trusts should be using them.”
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