The first Perinatal Mortality Surveillance report issued by the MBRRACE-UK collaboration is published today.
There has been an overall improvement in the rates of stillbirths and neonatal deaths in the UK which continues the trend from 2003 onwards. However, the overall trend masks variations in rates across the UK. These variations remain despite the fact that a new analytical method has been introduced by MBRRACE-UK to take into account aspects of care-mix to allow ‘fairer’ comparisons of mortality rates between services for high risk and low risk pregnancies.
The new analytical method also takes into account the random variation in rates which can occur because of the small number of births which occur in some areas. Led by the MBRRACE-UK collaborators based in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester, the report also highlights variations in mortality rates between different groups in the population. For example, pregnancies to women living in areas with the highest levels of poverty in the UK are over 50% more likely to end in stillbirth or neonatal death.