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Health Boards Carry Out Inquiries
Women from Lanarkshire experienced higher than average rates of stillbirth and neonatal deaths than other parts of Scotland, a report claims.
The region recorded the second highest rate in Scotland with 6.42 deaths per 1000 births, compared to the UK average of 5.88.
NHS Grampian had the highest rate in Scotland at 6.72 per 1000 births and 10% higher than the average.
Three health boards, Ayrshire and Arran, Borders and Fife were given ‘amber’ ratings meaning deaths were above the UK average but less than 10%.
Glasgow recorded a slight drop in death rates last year at 5.38 per 1000 births.
The report focused on babies born at 24 weeks of gestation or more, showed a slight fall in both the stillbirth and neonatal deaths rates in 2014 compared to 2013.
However there was “significant variation” across the UK.
Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This report shows that there is clearly much more to be done to reduce the deaths of babies.
“The variation across the country in rates of death has been a longstanding issue, and I am concerned that this continues to be the case.
“If hospitals could all match those with the lowest rates of deaths, it could save many parents from the agony and distress of a stillbirth or neonatal death.”
The report was carried out by MBRRACE-UK, made up of researchers from the University of Leicester, Birmingham and University College London, Bradford Teaching Hospitals and Sands, the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
An NHS Lanarkshire spokesperson disputed the findings, saying the figures included women who had opted to give birth in neighbouring health board areas.
He said: “The MBRRACE-UK perinatal mortality report shows that of the 4,802 births within NHS Lanarkshire in 2014, still births were up to 10 per cent lower and neonatal deaths were more than 10 per cent lower compared with similar Trusts and Health Boards across the UK.
“Due to proximity to hospitals in neighbouring health boards, some Lanarkshire women may choose to give birth outwith Lanarkshire.”