18 June 2021

We love being here for you when you need support or want to enjoy membership discounts.

But did you know that behind the scenes we are also making sure that NHS Hospital Trusts and Health Boards throughout the UK deliver the best possible care for women expecting twins, triplets or more?

Since the MBRRACE confidential enquiry into stillbirth and neonatal deaths was published earlier this year we have highlighted the shocking findings to more than 100 hospital trusts and health boards.

You may remember that the enquiry found that more than 50% of the 80 twin deaths reviewed were potentially preventable if care had been better.

Our press release received widespread media coverage with articles in The Times, The Guardian and Daily Mail, and radio interviews.

We needed to see action and wrote to the CEO and Heads of Midwifery at units with no Twins Clinics (something which the report has recommended every hospital should have) and those with one or more poor outcomes (gleaned from the Freedom of Information Act).

The second round of letters were sent to units with no Twins Clinics and a third wave of letters went to units who have a Twins Clinic, but sadly had one or more poor outcomes.

We also alerted every local MP whose hospital in their constituency failed to come up to standard.

But we didn’t stop there.

We also contacted units with a Twins Clinic and no poor outcomes just to make sure they had implemented all the key recommendations from the enquiry.

The response has been good.

Eighty-six units were contacted and we asked for a response by a certain date. Sixty-eight units got back to us and all had reviewed the information supplied with 43 trusts reviewing the findings in great detail.

Five units have asked for help from our Maternity Engagement team straight away and four had activity already underway prompted by other reports (e.g. NMPA multiple pregnancy audit published in 2020, or internal investigations).

Five trusts also confirmed they were recruiting specialist midwives, and two additional sonographers.

Thirty-five units confirmed they had very detailed action plans in place, often as a result of undertaking a GAP analysis.  Many shared them with us.

The best trusts are taking a whole pathway approach looking at maternity, neonatal and bereavement care in their reviews.

Jane Gorringe who heads T-MEP at Twins Trust, said: “The vast majority of trusts appear to be making improvements. Unfortunately, 18 units did not reply initially but were contacted again. A small number of them said they would not be introducing a twins clinic.

“So although this activity is encouraging, our experience from seeing improvement implemented in units previously is national policies need to highlight what needs to be done explicitly otherwise improvements tend to be lost as the focus moves elsewhere.

We will continue our work in this important area ensuring twins, triplets or more get the very best and correct care, which we know will improve outcomes.