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Pregnancy Blog
The NHS Maternity Review report: what does it mean for multiple birth families?

It’s an exciting day with the release of the English Maternity Review’s report into how to improve care over the next five years and beyond.

Given that 100s of multiple birth families have given their precious time to explain what good looks like and where improvements can be made, it’s rewarding to see nearly all of the recommendations will apply to them.  It certainly looks like the committee were in listening mode.

Currently multiple births account for just 1.5% of pregnancies but 7% of stillbirths and 14% of neonatal deaths,  these poor outcomes have remained stubbornly high for decades.  The reason for this is historically multiple births and other high risk communities have been overlooked when implementing reports.

That’s why it was so encouraging that leading regulators and commissioners agreed to include  multiple births and other high risk communities  in inspection frameworks and commission guidelines, when asked in parliament prior to the publication of the report,.  These are positive first steps.

More broadly if we are even going to come close to the targets set by the Secretary of State to reduce stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and brain injuries then policy bodies, commissioners and providers need to make sure they focus on all communities including the higher risk ones.

Now the hard work begins.

 



Bliss report highlights the need for Maternity Review to take action

Today marks the release of the 'Bliss baby report 2015: hanging in the balance.' The report reveals that neonatal services in England are overstretched and under incredible pressure, putting the safety of the sickest babies at risk. Bliss discovered there is a shortfall of 2,140 neonatal nurses, and two thirds of hospitals without enough doctors to meet national standards for safe and high quality care.

CEO of the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) Keith Reed responded to the report, saying, “the findings are very alarming and have a huge impact on our families. Almost half of all multiples are born prematurely, and many end up in neonatal care. We urge the current NHS maternity review to read this report and improve antenatal care pathways, so fewer babies end up in neonatal units in the first place.”

 



Tamba appears in the Times- now we need your help to improve care for multiple pregnancies- #2expectmore

Tamba has appeared in the Times *, with an article about how UK maternity units are failing to implement recommended multiple pregnancy guidelines (on Friday April 10th).

Currently multiple birth babies make up just three per cent of births, but account for 7.4% of stillbirths, and 18.4 per cent of neonatal deaths. Multiple birth pregnancies also have more than six times the risk of cerebral palsy. 

To address this, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published clinical guidelines for multiple pregnancies in 2011. The NICE guidelines recommend all women expecting multiples should be treated by a core team of named specialist obstetricians, midwives and ultrasonographers- all of whom have experience and knowledge of managing twin and triplet pregnancies.

Yet Tamba's 2014 Maternity Services Survey Report found that a massive 80% of UK units have not yet implemented these guidelines in full.

Our report found that only 18.4% of mother's experiencing a multiple birth pregnancy had access to a named specialist midwife. The report also revealed that only 28% of maternity units have a specialist multiple sonographer, and that 30% of multiple mothers are not being cared for by an specialist obstetrician during pregnancy and birth.

Tamba CEO Keith Reed said that over the coming years Tamba’s will focus on engaging with all maternity units around the UK and supporting them in implementing the NICE guidelines.

"Too many units are putting twins, triplets and higher multiples’ lives at risk by failing to follow the latest clinical guidance. By embedding best practice, units can begin to reduce the number of families who suffer the terrible heartbreak of losing one or more of their babies," Mr Reed said.

Prior to the dissolution of parliament, Tamba wrote a letter to the then Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, calling for an urgent meeting to address the problem. The letter was co-signed by the British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the charities SANDs, Bliss, the Multiple Birth Foundation, Action against Medical Accidents, Action Cerebral Palsy and the NCT.

Tamba is committed to working with maternity units across the UK to help them implement the NICE guidliens.

But we need your help. Please help us by taking a few minutes to fill in our maternity services survey and tell us about your multiple prenancy experience.

The results of this survey will be used to help us target which areas of multiple pregnancy antenatal care most need improving.  

For more information about Tamba's NICE guidelines campaigns, look out for#2expectmore on our blog, website, newsletters and social media. 

*Please note: only paying Times members will be able to view the full article online. But you can find out more about Tamba's campaign to see more maternity units adopt the NICE guidelines by reading our press release.



Sparkling, shiny and new.....introducing Tamba's new blog

Drum roll please....(sound of drum roll).....Ta da! Welcome to the sparkling new Tamba blog.

The quote on the above picture 'Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing' got us thinking. We most certainly want to blog about the topics that you want to read about. We also want to share on the blog details of the projects we are working on that make a difference to families with multiples across the UK - We hope you'll agree, something most definitely worth writing about! So we're going to take on the challenge to aspire to acheive both!

So we’ll be updating this blog regularly with news updates, fun facts and other helpful information. We’ll also have lots of posts from parents of twins, triplets and more about their experiences of raising multiples. When we post something new, we’ll keep you updated via social media and via our e-newsletter Tamba Talk. If you would like to receive a copy of our e-newsletter register with Tamba. 

As you’re on this page, you’ve probably noticed that Tamba has been busy building a new website, we hope you like it!

We’ve got some exciting new stuff on here. If you’ve recently found out you’re pregnant, our new Five Steps to Preparing for Multiples Pregnancy talks you through how Tamba can help you through every step of your pregnancy journey.

It’s also now much easier to find your nearest multiples club, with our new interactive club map. If you are a member of a multiples’ club, and it’s not on the list, email dianecole@tamba.org.uk to find out how your club can become affiliated with Tamba. For those of you that prefer to receive information via video we've worked hard to make sure the video content on our new website it much more accessible. 

In the coming months we’ll have more exciting updates on our site.  Keep an eye out on our blog for further updates on what’s new on our website.

One final thing- we’ve done our level best to make sure everything on the website is ship shape, but we always appreciate more feedback. So if you find any glitches, or if you think there’s something we could improve, please email rebeccageorge@tamba.org.uk. We hope you enjoy looking around our new website.

 



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