Archive for January, 2010


House of Commons Early Day Motions

Bob Spink [R]
Peter Bottomley
Bob Russell
Andrew George
Mr Gregory Campbell
Mr David Drew
Dr Rudi Vis Dr William McCrea Ms Katy Clark

That this House notes that 70,000 babies were admitted to neonatal care in England in 2008, almost 20,000 of those being admitted to intensive care; further notes that Bliss is the only UK charity that helps care for premature and sick babies; congratulates Bliss on 30 years of campaigning that has resulted in an NHS neonatal taskforce conducting the most comprehensive review of neonatal care ever undertaken in England; and calls on the Government to implement fully the Taskforce’s recommendations in order to make a lasting improvement in the way babies and their families are cared for.


January 28, 2010 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Departmental Public Expenditure – Health

Mrs. Maria Miller:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated to Maternity Matters programmes in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11.

Ann Keen:

In January 2008, the Department announced an additional £330 million for maternity services to help support the implementation of Maternity Matters over the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11. This funding has been included in primary care trusts (PCT) baseline allocations. It is for PCTs to determine how best to use based on the needs of local maternity services.

Mrs. Maria Miller:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated for NHS Baby Lifecheck in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11.

Gillian Merron:

Expenditure on NHS Baby Lifecheck in 2009-10 is expected to be approximately £1.3 million. The allocation for NHS Lifecheck in 2010-11 is still under consideration.

January 28, 2010 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Improvements to care for sick and premature babies in Wales

 Health Minister Edwina Hart today [Monday, 7 December] accepted the recommendations of an expert group on improvements to care for sick and premature babies in Wales.

The group, led by Dr Jean Matthes, Consultant Neonatologist at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, has produced a plan to improve neonatal services. Priorities include introducing dedicated neonatal transport services, improved information systems, and the establishment of a Neonatal Managed Clinical Network for Wales. The network should be operational in February.

The group’s recommendations outline how the additional £2million a year of Assembly Government funding announced by the Minister for neonatal services will be spent.  Planned improvements include:

Two neonatal transport services, one in south Wales and one in north Wales. The transport services will ensure rapid and safe transport to specialist centres. The services will operate 12 hours a day in the first instance, with planned progress towards a 24-hour service in the future as staff resources are developed. The new service should be operational from spring next year.

Specialist Neonatal services concentrated in three centres in South Wales – Swansea, Cardiff and Newport – and one in North Wales, yet to be determined.

Recruitment to begin for additional Neonatal Consultants and Neonatal Nurses at each centre to deliver the new service.

A single Neonatal Database enabling the standardised collection of data across Wales.

Dr Jean Matthes, Chair of the Expert Group, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the development of the neonatal transport services, database and network.  This will significantly help to improve the services for newborn babies and their families throughout the whole of Wales.”

Dr Huw Jenkins, Consultant Paediatrician at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, added: “This is a very welcome announcement and I am pleased that the hard work of the clinicians and others involved in developing the neonatal standards and service models is coming to fruition.”

January 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Home birth figures remain static across UK

Across the UK in 2008, 21, 211 (2.7%) of all births (787,032) took place at home, compared with 20,548 (2.68%) in 2007. This shows no rise in the home birth rate.

In England 18,933 women (2.8%) had a home birth, from 665,779 births.

Wales has the highest proportion of women having home births, 1,314 (3.7%) from 35,256 births.

In Scotland, 881 women (1.5%) had a home birth, from 60,366 births. And in Northern Ireland, 83 women (0.3%) had home births from 25,631 births.

In many areas community midwifery services are not being developed to increase access to home births and birth centres, and women are not being given balanced information to make well-informed choices. Low midwifery staffing levels mean home birth is either not being offered, or withdrawn at short notice. Every trust and board should ensure that choice of place of birth is available to all women.

Local administrative areas with highest and lowest home birth rates include:-





England   South Hamms – 13.6%   Alnwick 0.0%  
Scotland   East Lothian – 5.0%   Eilean Siar – 0.4%  
Wales   Bridgend – 9.5%   Merthyr Tydfil – 1.3%  

New data provided by the Office of National Statistics, The General Register Office for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Statistics analysed by BirthChoiceUK – available at

January 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment


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