Tamba logo - Twins and Multiple Births Association

Saving lives, supporting families

National Report highlights rapid drop in twin stillbirths and neonatal deaths

15th June 2018

National Report highlights the most rapid drop in twin stillbirths and neonatal deaths, in any population, since records began.

In 2014, Tamba set a strategic plan that aimed to cut poor outcomes in twin pregnancies.  We are delighted that the official figures out today show that between 2014 - 2016, twin stillbirths have been cut by almost 50% and twin neonatal deaths have fallen by 30%.  This equates to 305 twin babies lives being saved over this three year period.  This appears to be the fastest recorded drop in stillbirths among any population on record.    

As part of our strategy, we focused on 8 key areas of activity to try and improve outcomes and these are outlined in more detail in the insights report published here.

Much more can be done but we need support to do it.  According to the latest data, twins are still over one and a half times more likely to end in a stillbirth and over three times more likely to end with a neonatal death.  Previous publications highlight that they are still six times more likely to result in a brain injury and contribute towards 10% of clinical negligence claims.

In 2016 the Department of Health recognised and approved Tamba’s strategy to reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths and pre-term admissions by awarding the charity a grant to conduct a quality improvement programme. This project will provide maternity units with far more insight into how good practice can be achieved as well as highlight how common barriers to achieving good care can be removed. It is making real headway but the grant runs out in 2019 and there is so much potential in reducing stillbirths and neonatal deaths even further.

Krista Pound, Tamba’s Chair of Trustees and one of the original board members involved with the decision to focus on clinical outcomes said, “These are brilliant results and it’s taken a huge amount of work by 1000s of people. These results are truly life-changing and they couldn’t have been achieved without your support."

Dr Asma Khalil at St George's University of London said 

"As a Chair of the TAMBA Maternity Engagement initiative, I am very proud of the significant reduction of stillbirth and neonatal deaths in twin pregnancies.

Many thanks to all the key organisations which supported our efforts to disseminate the NICE and ISUOG guidelines on the management of twin pregnancies. We must continue our efforts to educate all the staff in our maternity units to enable them to give the best care to mums with twins, which will improve the outcomes of these pregnancies even further."

Professor Mark Kilby spoke about the report, "It is very pleasing to see a significant fall in perinatal and neonatal mortality for twins from these data relating to 2014-2016.  This is highly likely to be secondary to increased multidisciplinary working in multiple pregnancy clinics and protocols for screening, surveillance and management outlines in the NICE Guidance on twin and triplet pregnancy (1) and the RCOG Green top guidelines (2). However, we know that compliance with these guidelines in 'patchy' throughout the UK.  With universal compliance and adherence to management protocols it is probable that further improvements in perinatal survival in twins and triplets could be made.  A focus upon screening for preterm birth and intrapartum care in the revised NICE guidelines (for publication in 2019) can only enhance improvements in perinatal mortality and morbidity".

We have evidence from this national perinatal audit and our own findings that maternity units setting up a specialist multidisciplinary team who provide continuity of care as per the NICE guidelines is a ‘no-brainer’.  The evidence is in - it works. The funding for units in England to do this has been made available via NHS England.  Plus its importance in saving babies’ lives and preventing neonatal admissions is recognised in every key national maternity guideline and strategy, published over the past 24 months.’ 

Krista continues “We encourage all maternity units to set up a multidisciplinary team. The evidence shows that more specialist multidisciplinary teams providing continuity of care across the UK will help to reduce the stillbirth and neonatal death figure even further.”

Related blogs

Tamba develops new tool to improve maternity care

Tamba's Neonatal Guide

It's a small world after all

Exciting news: Stillbirths decrease for multiples

Part of the solution



New user registration