Red light warning to Belfast Health Trust for infant mortality rates

By Gillian Crotty

The Belfast Health Trust was one of 21 health organisations in the UK to be given a red light warning as a result of a higher than average rate of infant mortality.

The report entitled 'Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries (MBRACE-UK)' involved a study of 165 organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. It used a traffic light system to label the health bodies according to the rate of infant mortality rates - red being the most serious category for organisations with mortality rates 10 per cent or more above the average expected of that type of health body.

The Belfast Health Trust was the only health body in Northern Ireland to be given the red light warning, and the report calls for it and the other 20 organisations to investigate why their rate of infant mortality is so high. Dr Brad Manktelow led the statistical analysis, and said "those trusts and health boards identified with high rates of stillbirth or neonatal death rates should review the quality of the care they provide."

The report comes in the same week that separate research suggested that 76 per cent of newborn deaths and brain damage cases are avoidable.

If you require legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor in Northern Ireland in respect of a neonatal death, stillbirth or severe disability as a result of a poor quality of medical care during labour, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.