Action On Pre-Eclampsia has called for urgent action to stem the flow of maternal deaths from pre-eclampsia following the shocking MBRRACE report published today. The report shows that:

  • 4 times as many women in the UK are dying from pre-eclampsia than in 2012-14
  • 10.9 women, per 100,000 giving birth died, this is 24% higher than 2017-19
  • only 22% of the women who died received good care.

Prof Andrew Shennan, Chair of the Trustees said: “Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy condition affecting 1 in 20 women, characterised by high blood pressure and can be life threatening to mother and baby.”

“Pre-eclampsia needs careful observation, and the UK death rate is much lower than other countries but this four fold rise in deaths, from 2 mothers dying to 8 in a decade is exceptionally worrying and should not be happening.

“This is a disturbing trend, particularly as the vast majority of these deaths are avoidable. We must learn from this and act now.”

Marcus Green, Chief Executive of Action on Pre-Eclampsia said: “This is horrifying, the government has committed to reducing maternal deaths but laid bare these statistics show that not only are deaths rising but that the quality of care isn’t improving.

“We know that on the ground midwives are overstretched and maternity services are struggling meaning systemic changes are needed. Clearly the government’s ambition to reduce maternal mortality just isn’t working, isn’t going to be achieved and isn’t fit for purpose.

“We are calling on the government to urgently review their strategy on maternal deaths. This report shows the need for focus on better care which will lead to better outcomes. The mums who died left 366 children who will never know their mother’s love. This can’t go on.”