On Friday 13th November the Government announced a new ambition to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England by 50% by 2030. To help meet this committment Trusts will receive a share of £4 government funding to buy high-tech digital equipment and to provide training for staff already working to improve outcomes for mums and babies.
CMV Action welcomes the additional scrutiny on the causes of stillbirth and neonatal death. Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a contrubuting factor in both. One study has suggested that CMV is a cause in around 15% of babies who die in utero. Around 0.5% of the hundreds of babies born in the UK with CMV in every year will die in infancy. More can and should be done to reduce risks of CMV infection and reduce the loss of young lives and tragedy for families.
We have already worked with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to develop training an e-learning module on reducing risks of CMV infection. We look forward to working with Trusts, RCM and RCOG going forwards to develop further training and support for professionals working in antenatal care to meet this ambition. Professionals need to be confident discussing CMV risk reduction with women and spotting the signs of infection in fetuses and newborns.