Some baby deaths and stillbirths could be preventable

Professor Jason Gardosi of The West Midlands Perinatal Institute believes his report into midwife provision in the West Midlands suggests a link between overstretched community midwives and some preventable perinatal deaths.

Researchers claim that dozens of babies died potentially avoidable deaths because midwives in understaffed services in England are failing to spot early warning signals in pregnant women.

The West Midlands Perinatal Institute studied the deaths of 94 babies in the region during 2008-9.

It found in 35 cases the deaths might have been avoided if the quality of care had been better.

The Department of Health said the NHS in the West Midlands now had clear plans in place to improve standards of care and reduce preventable deaths and that it was important that these are implemented and make a real difference to maternity services in the region.

The Report is on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 17 February at 2000 GMT. Or listen via the BBC iPlayer, or download the podcast.

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