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Perinatal mortality and morbidity


The UK stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate has fallen by a fifth in the last decade; however, stillbirth rates continue to be among the highest of high-income countries. The Government wants to halve the rate of stillbirths and neonatal deaths in England by 2030, with a 20 per cent reduction by 2020 (O’Connor 2016).

MBRRACE-UK runs the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme (MNI-CORP). Maternity units should notify all maternal deaths, stillbirths, perinatal deaths and infant deaths to MBRRACE-UK, who analyse the data and publish surveillance reports. Here, findings from the surveillance reports about perinatal deaths, stillbirths and, specifically, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, are summarised and recommendations made for practice.

Learning aims and objectives

This resource provides an overview of perinatal mortality and morbidity in the UK and the implications for midwifery practice.

On completing this module, you should understand the:

  • Causes and drivers of extended perinatal mortality in the UK
  • Basic statistical concepts when analysing perinatal mortality data
  • Role of midwives, as part of the multidisciplinary team, in reducing mortality and providing care to parents experiencing the death of their baby
  • Importance of local reviews of perinatal mortality and how they should be conducted.

Keywords and linking topics

Extended perinatal mortality, neonatal mortality, stillbirth, congenital diagphragmatic hernia, health inequalities, Confidential Enquiry, local reviews, multidisciplinary, quality improvement, bereavement, advocacy, psychological support, parents, placenta, plan-do-study-act cycle, PDSA cycle, MBRRACE-UK, MNI-CORP

Questions at the end of this resource will enable you to assess your knowledge and reflect on how you can incorporate it into your own practice. In the following questions, please select the answer that you believe to be correct. This will be marked and then you can move on to the next question. If you wish, at the end you can return for a further attempt at the questions.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to download and save or print a certificate to include in your CPD/revalidation portfolio.