The MBRRACE-UK Signs of Life working group has launched a consultation relating to the development of UK guidance to support health professionals in the assessment of signs of life for spontaneous births before 24+0 weeks of gestational age where active survival-focused care is not appropriate.

BAPM will be responding to the consultation and asks that BAPM members share their responses with the BAPM office by 28 February as well as submitting an individual response. BAPM will then use members' comments to submit a formal response on behalf of the Association.

This guidance aims to reduce the confusion and distress experienced by parents by helping doctors and midwives with the assessment of newborn babies who are born before 24 weeks of pregnancy. The guidance also aims to increase the consistency of the registration of births and deaths. This is a distressing and sensitive topic and may be upsetting, particularly for those affected by the loss of a baby.

The draft guidance was developed by consensus by a multi-disciplinary UK working group comprising representatives from all of the relevant UK clinical organisations, Government health departments, Northern Ireland Public Health Agency, academic experts in extremely preterm birth, medical law and medical ethics and third sector stakeholders. The group is led by MBRRACE-UK who are commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to undertake the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme (MNI-CORP) on behalf of NHS England, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate, the Northern Ireland Department of Health, the States of Guernsey, the States of Jersey, and the Isle of Man Government. The aims of the MNI-CORP are to collect, analyse and report national surveillance data and conduct national confidential enquiries in order to stimulate and evaluate improvements in health care for mothers and babies.

The draft guidance is intended for health professionals but may also be of interest to other stakeholders. It will complement guidance on decision making around obstetric interventions and initiation of neonatal intensive care at extreme preterm gestations by BAPM.

Deadline to send to BAPM: 28 Feb 2020
Deadline for consultation: 9 March 2020

Respond to consultation

British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) is registered in England & Wales under charity number 285357 at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SH.
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