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Bradford district infant mortality rate ‘still too high’
9:00am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
Members of Bradford Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee yesterday recognised progress being made to reduce infant mortality rates in the district, but said they were still unacceptably high.
Latest figures for 2010-11 reveal the infant mortality rate – death at an age under one per 1,000 live births – for Bradford is 7.9, down from 8.1 last year. It is the fourth consecutive year the rate has shown a decline. However, the infant mortality rate for Yorkshire and Humber is 5.2 and for England it is 4.4.
Dr Shirley Brierley, public health consultant for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, presented the committee with an update on measures to reduce infant mortality rates in the district.
Key, she said, was reducing teenage conception rates and encouraging early access to midwifery services. Across the district, 82 per cent of women are accessing midwifery services before 13 weeks, but the target is to achieve a 90 per cent rate.
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland quizzed Dr Brierley about the types of women failing to access services. Dr Brierley said it was typically young women, women from certain communities such as the Eastern European community and hard to reach women, such as those living in poverty.
Members also asked Dr Brierley if infant mortality rates were broken down by ethnic group. Dr Brierley said they were broken down into white and south Asian ethnic groups, which showed rates were higher among south Asians.
The committee asked for all future reports to include data broken down by ethnicity and constituency to enable them to better monitor trends.