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Thursday 27th October 2016

Vulnerable pregnant missing out on care

22nd September 2010

A report by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said many at-risk pregnant women are not getting the care they need.


The report said teenagers, women addicted to drugs, women who had been abused and those who did not speak English had the highest need of care services but were the most likely not to use them.

NICE said that out of 600,000 pregnancies per year, 30,000 were to drug addicts, 40,000 to teenagers, 47,000 to domestic abuse sufferers and 70,000 to women who did not speak English.

NICE suggested that schools and colleges should start holding antenatal classes to improve the health of pregnant women and babies. It said that the most vulnerable groups of women were unlikely to use antenatal services.

The watchdog said not using antenatal services played a role in high numbers of complications during pregnancy and birth.

The average number of women who die during pregnancy or birth is 14 per 100,000. This figure increases five times in vulnerable groups, along with stillbirth and infant deaths.

Dr Gillian Leng, NICE's deputy chief executive, said: "Although these women represent a small proportion of those having babies in the UK each year, they and their unborn children deserve the same level of care as anyone else."


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