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Saving lives, supporting families


How Tamba is improving maternity care for twins, triplets and more

6th April 2019

We’re so excited as today we can share with you the brilliant results from our three-year Maternity Engagement Project.

Most of the Tamba team and project stakeholders are at a conference in London today at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Delegates will hear all about what has been achieved, and even more exciting, what could be achieved in the future. Baroness Julia Cumberlege, who is leading a major NHS review of maternity services is due to open the conference today.  

We’re proud to say that this is a world-first project.

Here’s a bit of background to it. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) published guidelines on how best to care for mums of multiples back in 2013.

Whilst some maternity units took these up, in particular St George’s Hospital in London, others didn’t. This is often for many reasons – time constraints, money, staffing issues, or put simply, because they didn’t know how to, and our research showed care paths varied throughout the country.

As the only charity in the UK which offers unique support for multiple birth families and health professionals we were, understandably, keen for maternity units to follow the guidelines, ensuring the best care possible.

Meanwhile, at St George’s, maternity staff were going great guns following the guidelines and getting better results, driving down stillbirths, seeing fewer babies from multiple births needing neonatal care and fewer c-sections.

This is where our Maternity Engagement Project was born.

We felt that if our three specialist multiple midwives could work with a sample number of maternity units in England enabling them to implement changes in accordance with the NICE CG46, that we would see better results – and that’s just what has happened!

In just 12 months there were 200 fewer neonatal admissions and 105 fewer emergency c-sections.

And our statistics show that if all maternity units in England implemented similar changes, within a year neonatal admission in multiples could be reduced by 1,308, emergency c-sections could be reduced by 634 and the NHS would save a jaw-dropping £8 million!

After five years, across the UK* (we’ve only got stats for this UK on this), up to 100 stillbirths could be prevented each year.

We hope you’ll agree that these are amazing results.

Sadly, the future remains uncertain as we have been unable to secure funding to reach all maternity units in England. It had been funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Taking into account the amended requirements in the Saving Babies’ Lives care bundle which aims to cut stillbirths by 50% by 2025 and now, after lobbying by Tamba, includes specific references to multiple births, Keith Reed, Tamba CEO, warns that it is even more important to follow the NICE guidance in order for the Government to achieve this ambition.

Working with others and with your help and support, Tamba remains dedicated to trying to reduce stillbirth in multiple pregnancies to levels similar to, or even lower than singletons.

You may have already spotted the press coverage about the Maternity Engagement Project. It was featured in national papers including The Times, Daily Mail and Mirror, along with many regional papers and websites. We even made it onto TV! Watch a clip below from the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2 and BBC News Channel.

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