The Infant Mortality rate in Bradford is at its lowest rate since records began according to new figures being presented to the Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny on Thursday, 7 April.

The report from Bradford Council’s Director of Public Health and Strategic Director of Children’s Services shows the infant mortality rate is now at its lowest recorded rate and has fallen every year for the last six years. The latest infant mortality rate of 5.8 per 1,000 births for 2012-14 is a reduction from 5.9 in 2011-13 and 7.0 in 2010-12.

The improvements shown in Bradford contribute to the improvements in infant mortality rates across England and the Yorkshire and Humber.

Director of Public Health Anita Parkin said:

“Every baby that is born in the district and dies before their first birthday is a tragedy for their parents, relatives and society as a whole.

“By focusing on the 10 key areas highlighted in the Every Baby Matters action plan, our aim is to continue to improve the survival rates of babies in the Bradford district.

“Although we have seen recent improvements, we are working hard to further reduce the risks by reducing child poverty and improving education and housing standards. We’re also looking to ensure families get access to high-quality services from pre-conception and pregnancy through to infancy, and to improve nutrition and breastfeeding for babies.”

“It is really positive to see that infant mortality rates are at their lowest level since records began, but we know that there is much more work that needs to be done.

“Our work, to make sure that every child gets the best start in life, begins before they are born. Improving their health from the very beginning means they have the best possible life chances.

“Bradford Council, the NHS and other key partners continue to work hard to tackle the causes of infant mortality and we need to maintain focus in order to make further improvements.”

Over the last year, The Every Baby Matters Action Plan has already seen:

  • Home safety equipment in over 4,000 households in deprived areas
  • Better Start Bradford projects rolled out in three deprived wards
  • UNICEF baby friendly initiatives adopted by more organisations including 140 Children’s centre staff and 242 GPs have taken specialist training
  • Healthy Start programme for pregnant women and young children including the promotion around vitamin D
  • Specialist midwife support for smoking cessation is now in place plans
  • Leaflet developed around genetic inheritance awareness with additional training for 300 staff