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REPORT REVIEW State of the world's fathers: time for action  

Dr Alys Einion

Associate Professor of Midwifery at Swansea University


 (September 2017)

State of the world’s fathers: time for action presents a summary of the current issues facing fathers with suggestions of what action is needed to improve the experience of fathers and the wellbeing of families across the world. Helman B, Levov R, van der Gaag N et al (2017).

REPORT REVIEW The new Irish maternity strategy 2016-2026

Catherine Wood

Senior Sophister in Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin


 (June 2017)

In 2016, Ireland launched its first ever maternity strategy (Department of Health [IDH] 2016). This followed many high-profile controversies, including maternal and neonatal deaths due to medical misadventure. This article reviews Ireland’s history of maternity services, the new strategy and current perinatal mental health services. Irish Department of Health (IDH) (2016). Creating a better future together. National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026, Dublin: IDH.

MBRRACE-UK: Saving lives, improving mothers’ care

Kerry Pollard

Midwifery Lecturer at University of Central Lancashire

 (February 2017)

The third annual MBRRACE-UK report, Saving lives, improving mothers’ care report provides us with a picture of maternal deaths in the UK between 2012-14 and information on the lessons learned from the UK and Ireland Confidential enquiries into maternal deaths and morbidities between 2009-14. Globally, maternal deaths have fallen by over half since the introduction of the millennium development goals in 1990. Although short of the global target to reduce such maternal deaths by three quarters by the year 2015 (United Nations (UN) 2015), maternal deaths within the UK are, in fact, a rare event. This year’s report shows a reduction in deaths from previous years, 8.5 deaths per 100,000 maternities compared with last year’s figure, 9 deaths per 100,000 maternities. Although not a statistically significant decrease, it is a promising reduction. Here, the key recommendations for practice outlined in the report are summarised in an attempt to further reduce future maternal morbidity and mortality.

   REPORT REVIEW Perinatal mortality and morbidity: a retrospective

Victoria Morgan

Founder, Every Birth a Safe Birth

 (January 2017)

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 congenital diaphragmatic hernia, perinatal deaths and stillbirths are reviewed, and recommendations made for practice.

'Montgomery consent': decision of the UK Supreme Court Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015]. [2015] UKSC 11; [2015] WLR 768

Heather Beckett

Barrister at 1 Grays Inn Square, London and Specialist in Restorative Dentistry

John Radford

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry in Dundee

 (June 2016)

This landmark legal case has changed the law on consent in health care. All health care workers must be aware of the implications of this for their practice when 'sharing information' with patients and the assertion of consent by the patient. Essentially, Montgomery banishes medical paternalism, putting the focus firmly with the patient. This is the standard that will now be used by both the courts and the regulators.