Today, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RCOG) has published its annual report from its Each Baby Counts initiative. The report identifies adherence to best practice on fetal monitoring as the key to reducing baby deaths and brain injuries during childbirth.

The Each Baby Counts report also identifies best practice on fetal monitoring and neonatal care was also identified as crucial to proving best outcomes.

Commenting on the report, Mandy Forester RCM’s Head of Quality and Standards says; “This report clearly shows that a quarter of local investigations were not thorough enough, the RCM believes that immediate improvements in the investigation process are needed.

“It is only through thorough investigation and implementation of recommendations that lessons can be learned from these tragic events. We must do everything possible to prevent them, and improve care and safety.

“Too often the focus is on individual actions. All healthcare professionals must of course be rigorous in their practice. However, they are often working in systems that do not support best practice, and the safest and highest quality care as well as they should.

“Adequate levels of staffing are needed to ensure better outcomes for both mother and baby. Maternity services right across the UK are struggling and in England alone we remain 3,500 midwives short. The RCM have said time and time again the safety is compromised when cuts are made to our maternity services. We have also called for more bereavement midwives to be put in place across the UK  to give parents the very best support during such a time of terrible loss and suffering.”

“The RCM continues to work closely with our colleagues at the RCOG to ensure that multi -isciplinary team work is improved and effective across all maternity units however large or small.

“In this report the RCOG have outlines recommendations aimed at both doctors and midwives. On fetal monitoring; the RCM and RCOG have worked collaboratively on an joint Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) statement for both our membership which will be published in the coming weeks.

“Each one of these statistics contained within this report, mean horrendous loss and suffering for parents We must do all we can to work collaboratively to reduce the chances of these occurring.”