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In 2015, the Government announced the National Maternity Safety Ambition to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and maternal deaths in England by 50% by 2030. The ambition was subsequently revised in 2017 and the deadline for meeting the target was brought forward to 2025.

This short research briefing examines the progress to date in reducing deaths during both the neonatal (first 28 days) and post-neonatal (28 days to 1 year) periods, collectively referred to as ‘infant mortality’. It particularly focuses on persistent inequalities in infant mortality rates by geographical area, ethnicity and socio-economic group. While some UK-wide data is presented, the briefing primarily focuses on England.

Information on maternal health, and maternity care policies, can be found in the Commons Library briefing on Quality and safety of maternity care (England). Further background on infant mortality can be found in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) briefing on Infant Mortality and Stillbirth in the UK.

The death of a baby is a traumatic event for parents, and their families, and the care they receive afterwards can have a long-term impact on how families cope with their loss. The care of bereaved families is discussed in detail in a POST briefing on Bereavement Care after the Loss of a Baby in the UK .

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