House of Lords committee opens call for evidence on prevention and consequences of preterm birth

The House of Lords Preterm Birth Committee has published its call for evidence as part of its inquiry looking into the prevention, and consequences, of preterm birth.

The Committee is seeking evidence on a number of topics, including:

  • treatments and interventions that can assist in the prediction and prevention of preterm birth;
  • neonatal and longer-term care and support for babies born preterm;
  • existing clinical guidance relating to preterm birth, and how this is implemented;
  • the ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities seen in relation to preterm birth, and how these could be reduced;
  • priority areas for research to prevent preterm birth and improve care for mothers and babies.

Members of the committee include; Lord Patel (obstetrician), Lord Winston (IVF pioneer), Baroness Watkins of Tavistock (Emeritus Professor of Nursing), and Baroness Cumberlege (former Under-Secretary of State for Health), and Baroness Wyld (Lords sponsor of the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023.)

Preterm birth affects around 8% of live births in England each year, and it can have serious and long-term consequences. It is the single biggest cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the UK.

The Government has set an ambition to reduce the preterm birth rate to 6% of live births by 2025. Our inquiry will examine how preterm births can be prevented and their impact reduced, and whether Government policy is adequate to meet its target.

We are keen to hear from parents with lived experience of preterm birth, health professionals, academics, charities, and professional organizations to ensure all views are considered.”

Lord Patel, Chair, Preterm Birth Committee

The complete list of questions, plus details of how to submit evidence by the deadline of Wednesday 27 March 2024, can be found on the committee’s website.

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