Latest evidence from MBRRACE-UK's annual investigation into stillbirths and neonatal deaths has found deeply concerning increases across the UK, as well as stark and widening inequalities linked to deprivation and ethnicity.
The latest MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Mortality Surveillance report, which looks at stillbirth and neonatal death rates in the UK between January and December 2021, has found significant increases across the UK after 7 years of year-on-year reduction.
The report also highlights alarming trends of both sustained and growing inequalities in perinatal mortality rates. The investigation found increased rates of both stillbirth and neonatal deaths in the most deprived areas of the country; a widening gap in stillbirth rates between the most deprived areas and least deprived areas of the country; and a significant rise in stillbirths among babies of Black ethnicity, which increased at a higher rate than for babies of Asian and White ethnicity.
Birth Companions is deeply concerned to see this new evidence of stark and widening inequalities. After several years of overall reductions in perinatal mortality rates, these findings raise serious questions about perinatal health and care in this country, and highlight the need for urgent attention, at every level, to the social determinants of health and the complex intersections of deprivation and ethnicity.