Perinatal Mortality Review Tool – Third Annual Report

Reports | Published: 13 Oct 2021

The National Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT), which aims to provide answers for bereaved parents and their families about why their baby died, has published its third annual report.

Based on reviews carried out from March 2020 to February 2021,  Learning from Standardised Reviews When Babies Die found that there had been modest improvements in the way hospital reviews were undertaken across the UK over the 12-month period spanning the pandemic. However, it also found that the emergence of COVID-19 compounded an already unequal picture in maternity.

Overall, 3,981 reviews were carried out across England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland, 97% of which identified at least one issue with care (with an average of four issues per death reviewed, increasing to five issues per death where the baby was born at term). Other key findings include:

  • Not all parents for whom a review was conducted were told that it would take place (90% of parents were notified)
  • Inadequate fetal growth surveillance was identified as relevant in 9% of deaths reviewed, and remains the most common single issue, and
  • Inadequate investigation or management of reduced fetal movement was the second most common single issue (relevant in 8% of deaths reviewed).

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Perinatal Mortality Review Tool – Third Annual Report