More babies are dying within a year of being born, in a “disturbing reversal” of several decades of the NHS’s success in reducing infant mortality. Health professionals, charities and midwives voiced serious concern at the trend in England and Wales, which was confirmed in data published by the Office for National Statistics.
The rate rose from 2.6 neonatal deaths per 1,000 births in 2015 to 2.7 for every 1,000 births in 2016. Smoking among mothers, maternal obesity, poverty and the England-wide shortage of midwives were all cited as potential explanations for the rise.
The infant mortality rate, showing deaths within the first year of a child’s life, also rose, from 3.7 to 3.8 per 1,000 live births over the same period. There is particular concern that both have risen for the second year in a row after years of steady improvement.
Full Story in The Guardian 15 March 2018