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Review into increased neonatal death rates announced

The review will look at neonatal deaths (Andrew Matthews/PA)
The review will look at neonatal deaths (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A review is to be carried out into increased neonatal death rates, the Scottish Government has announced.

It follows a higher than expected number of deaths in both March 2022 and September 2021, as published by Public Health Scotland.

The Scottish Government has commissioned Healthcare Improvement Scotland to lead the review into neonatal death rates.

The review will cover all reported deaths across Scotland between April 1 2021 and March 31 2022 to find out if there is anything that may have contributed to the increase.

Anything identified will feed into recommendations and actions to improve the quality of care for mothers and babies.

Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “Every death is a tragedy for the families involved. That is why earlier this year I committed to this review to find out if there is a reason for the increase.

“I appreciate how difficult this time is for anyone affected and I would encourage them to access support if they wish to do so.

“There is information about organisations and help available on the National Bereavement Care Pathways Scotland as well as the Scottish Government website.”

Once the review team is formed it is expected it will take no longer than six to nine months to complete the work.

Neonatal mortality is defined as the death of a baby within four weeks of birth.

The review will not duplicate any matters which are, or have been, the subject of other review, investigation or audit processes.