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Infant Mortality

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many premature babies died as a result of early birth each week on average in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what steps he plans to take to reduce infant mortality among prematurely born babies. (209969)

The Department does not collect information relating to the number of premature babies that die.

The Office for National Statistics produced a report, “Introducing data on gestation specific infant mortality among babies born in 2005 in England and Wales” which details death rates of babies born in 2005, broken down by gestation rate.

The recent report “Perinatal Mortality 2006 - England, Wales and Northern Ireland” published by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) in April 2008, found a continuing decline in the overall neonatal mortality rate and in the stillbirth, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates in multiple pregnancies.

Tackling health inequalities in infant mortality, including among prematurely born babies, remains an important government priority as reaffirmed in the publication “Health Inequalities: Progress and Next Steps” published on 9 June.

Copies of each of these reports have been placed in the Library.