UK Healthcare Continues to Support Tommy’s Charity with Donation to Major Clinical Trials
UK Healthcare has continued to show support for pregnancy health charity, Tommy’s, with another donation toward vital research on stillbirth by the Manchester based organisation.
Monitoring babies’ movements can help warn mothers that something is going wrong in time for them to alert healthcare services, potentially preventing avoidable stillbirths.
The health cash plan provider has contributed £5,000 to a study into the early warning signs of stillbirth. Tommy’s hopes the trials, which begin in UK hospitals next year, could dramatically reduce the rate of stillbirth in the UK.
Around 1 in every 200 UK pregnancies currently ends in stillbirth; devastating more than 4,000 families every year. Studies have indicated a link between the reduced movements of an unborn child and stillbirth. If a mother perceives a reduction in her baby’s movements, she could be experiencing a problem with her placenta. This is often an early indicator of stillbirth.
But despite the correlation it is estimated that less than 5% of doctors would refer the mother in question to undergo further tests. The trials, lead by Tommy’s research centres in Manchester and Edinburgh, would aim to combat this by educating expectant mothers and clinicians.
Over the course of three years, Tommy’s will document the effect on stillbirth rates of these two information drives.
Firstly, they will teach pregnant women how to monitor the movements of their baby and encourage them to report any reduction of movement. Secondly, they will introduce a series of steps which healthcare professionals will follow, when a woman reports a reduction. These steps include the use of MRI scans to check for problems with the placenta and delivering the baby early if it is appropriate to do so.Trials are due to start early next year in Scotland and Ireland with over 30 maternity units in England and Wales joining the trial later in 2014
During a similar project in Norway, stillbirth rates fell by 30%. Now Dr Alexander Heazell, Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics (University of Manchester) and Principal Investigator at Tommy’s Manchester centre, will test it efficacy on a larger scale within the UK Healthcare system.
The UK Healthcare donation will contribute to the salary of Dr Heazell during the project. This large multi-centre clinical trial is primarily funded by the Chief Scientist Office, with Tommy’s raising funds to support the work of their Manchester and Edinburgh research centres.
Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of Tommy’s said:
“Monitoring babies’ movements can help warn mothers that something is going wrong in time for them to alert healthcare services, potentially preventing avoidable stillbirths. This study will be an important step to establish whether teaching mums to monitor their babies movements saves lives – we sincerely hope it will be a successful strategy and results in a significant drop in our lamentable stillbirth rate in the UK.”When UK Healthcare learned more about the project, and Tommy’s involvement in particular, they were keen to lend a helping hand.
Stephen Pugh, Chief Executive of UK Healthcare, said: “This exciting research project into the prevention of stillbirth has the potential to save thousands of lives and as such, we were eager to do whatever we could to help ensure its success
“We’ve worked with Tommy’s before and we know all about the pioneering work they continue to do in the field of pregnancy health. We’re happy to continue our relationship with the organisation because we have every confidence that their work will be a success.”
For more information about Tommy’s pay a visit to their official website today, or call 0800 0147 800 for expert pregnancy health information from a trained midwife.
To discover the many benefits of a comprehensive health cash plan, head to the UK Healthcare website or simply call 0845 4900 852.
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