Britain has been ranked as 33rd in a world league table on stillbirths - on a par with Belarus and Estonia. The announcement was called "a national scandal" by Neal Long, chief executive of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

According to national statistics 4,000 British babies are stillborn every year - that's around 11 a day. The international league table of 193 countries, including some of the world's poorest, puts the UK in 33rd place, with a rate of 3.5 per 1,000 births.

The report, published in the Lancet, was carried out by 69 authors who spent two years analysing data from around the world. They said that stillbirth was an "invisible" problem that was largely ignored.

Neal Long said: "Eleven babies dying every day is a national scandal which has persisted for far too long in this country.

"This seemingly endless death toll of thousands of babies every year has the most terrible long-term impact on parents and their families.

"We now have no excuse in the UK for our persistently high stillbirth levels and we must act immediately."

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