Pennine Acute Trust to work with Perinatal Institute on Saving Babies’ Lives programme

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Pennine Acute Trust to work with Perinatal Institute on Saving Babies’ Lives programme
18 June 2015

DOCTORS and midwives working across maternity services at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have been invited to work with The Perinatal Institute on a national quality programme to help improve the detection and management of babies who are smaller than would normally be expected, and to reduce stillbirth rates and early neonatal death across the region.

Stillbirth rates in the UK used to be the highest in western Europe and remained unchanged for 20 years. The Perinatal Institute, a national not-for-profit organisation, was therefore set up to improve the quality and safety of maternity care. 

Professor Jason Gardosi and his team at The Perinatal Institute were awarded the 2015 British Medical Journal (BMJ) Award for Clinical Leadership for its work in preventing babies dying before birth, also known as stillbirth prevention. Their pioneering work led to the first reduction of stillbirths in England for 20 years, and England stillbirth rates are now at their lowest ever levels.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and local patients are now set to benefit from the expertise of The Perinatal Institute in this area. The Trust and the Perinatal Institute are set to launch the implementation of the SaBINE project across Pennine Acute’s maternity services at North Manchester General Hospital and The Royal Oldham Hospital. 

SaBINE is the Saving Babies’ Lives in the North of England project which is linked to the development of NHS England’s national Saving Babies’ Lives: Reducing Stillbirth and Early Neonatal Death Care Bundle.

Gill Harris, Chief Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“We are all very excited and looking forward to being one of the early implementers of this important and lifesaving piece of work across this region, which is also a key aspect and contributor to our programme of work to improve our maternity services.

“It is important we are able to identify those babies that may be in need of help as early as possible so that our doctors and midwives can offer further investigations such as a scan, or in some cases bringing forward the birth of a baby at higher risk of stillbirth, to help keep babies safer.

“As part of this project we know we can learn from good practice, share our skills and knowledge, introduce better multi-disciplinary training of doctors and midwives, and a more strengthened pathway for managing babies identified as smaller than expected. We are also committed to introducing other elements of the national Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle which includes raising awareness among women and families of the risks of smoking, offering smoking cessation support for pregnant women, patient advice for reporting reduced fetal movement, and improved fetal monitoring training for our staff.”

Professor Jason Gardosi, Director of The Perinatal Institute, said:

”We welcome the opportunity to work closely with The Pennine Acute Hospitals and their staff in relation to the Saving Babies’ Lives: Reducing Stillbirth and Early Neonatal Death Care Bundle. The team at Pennine were already important regional NHS England stakeholders helping to bring this prevention programme to the North of England, and it is fitting that the Trust will be one of the leaders in implementing these new measures to help improve safety for women and babies.”

In 2013/14 the Trust delivered 9,899 babies across the two purpose-built women & children’s facilities at North Manchester General Hospital and The Royal Oldham Hospital.


The Royal Oldham Hospital's maternity unit, children's unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) fully opened in December 2012. The £44m facility is a purpose-built four storey building with antenatal wards, labour delivery rooms, a midwife-led birth centre, obstetric theatres, children's unit and paediatric theatre, and a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Royal Oldham Hospital is one of three specialist regional neonatal centres providing the highest level of intensive care to the smallest and most vulnerable babies. The NICU consists of 37 cots with 9 intensive care, 9 high dependency and 19 special care cots.

The maternity unit at North Manchester General Hospital opened in 2010.  The £32m facility provides a full range of high quality services to women, children and babies including: a children’s day surgery unit, Kids’ Observation and Assessment Liaison Area (KOALA), children’s inpatient unit, antenatal ward, postnatal ward, delivery suite/labour ward and operating theatres, Neonatal Unit/ Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and midwife-led birth centre.