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.