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RCOG doctors team up for RideLondon to save babies lives

News 27 July 2018

Two doctors from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will jump on their bikes for the almighty Prudential RideLondon to raise money for ‘Each Baby Counts’ – a national quality improvement programme to reduce the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled during labour.

Launched by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the programme collects and analyses information on all term stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occur during term labour to identify where clinical improvements can be made nationally.

Obstetrician gynaecologists Mr Edward Morris and Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling will each cycle 100 miles on Sunday 29 July. As Vice President of Clinical Quality at the RCOG, Mr Morris works on this programme side-by-side with Dr Prosser-Snelling, who is the Quality Improvement Lead for Each Baby Counts. Together, they will lead a team of 15 obstetricians, gynaecologists and their family and friends from across the UK from Surrey to The Mall in London.

Each year in the UK, over 1,000 babies die or are left with severe brain injury because something goes wrong during labour. The programme’s second report, published in October 2017, analysed the care of 1,136 babies born in the UK in 2015 who were stillborn, died within the first seven days after birth, or suffered a severe brain injury. It found that 76% of these babies might have had a different outcome with different care and identified key clinical actions needed to improve the quality of care and prevent future cases. The Each Baby Counts team is committed to reducing this unnecessary suffering and loss of life by 50% by 2020.

It will be the fifth year running that the RCOG has fielded a team for RideLondon. In 2017, a group of eight riders raised close to £12,000 to support Each Baby Counts. This year, a target of £15,000 has been set with some of the funds to go towards supporting high quality local improvement programmes in hospitals around the country.

Mr Edward Morris, Vice President of Clinical Quality at the RCOG, said: 

“It is a profound tragedy whenever a death, disability or illness of a baby results from incidents during labour and the RCOG does not accept that these are all unavoidable. Our report found that for many of these babies, different care might have resulted in a different outcome. We are now working on developing practical suggestions from our research to improve the care provided to mother and baby to ensure the safest delivery. 

“For the past two years I have taken on the RideLondon 46 mile event for Each Baby Counts. I was motivated by this project’s phenomenal work to make a meaningful reduction in the number of stillbirth and brain damaged babies born in the UK every year. Team RCOG has consistently raised incredible amounts of money through RideLondon and this year we have decided to go for the big one - the 100 mile event. Between us, we have two consultants and a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, a consultant paediatrician and a local GP – all from Norfolk and Norwich. We are a committed bunch who have been training hard for this most important cause.” 

Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling, Quality Improvement Lead for Each Baby Counts, said:  

“I have worked on the Each Baby Counts project since it was formed in 2015 and was responsible for persuading the first cohort of riders to take on the RideLondon challenge in 2016. I trained hard for the 100 miles then, but unfortunately the month before the event I had a motorcycle accident on the way to work and broke my shoulder and thumb. I was determined to take part nevertheless and completed 100 miles on a static bike outside the RCOG on the same day my colleagues were rolling through the Surrey hills.  

“Two years on, I am excited to be back and ready to take on the 100 mile route. I am thrilled to be taking part in RideLondon alongside my colleagues – and even my wife has agreed to take on the challenge. We all understand the very real tragedies that the Each Baby Counts programme is working hard to reduce and are committed to making a difference. The RCOG is a leading charity which I am proud to be associated with and I really hope that as many people as possible will make a donation to keep this essential project going.” 

NOTES: 

Team sponsorship page

For more information, please see the Each Baby Counts webpage

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)20 7045 6773 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk

About Each Baby Counts
Each Baby Counts is a national quality improvement programme, launched in October 2014, aiming to halve the number of babies who die or are left severely disabled as a result of preventable incidents occurring during term labour (after 37 weeks) by 2020. In 2017, a detailed analysis of 1,136 stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occurred during childbirth in 2015 revealed that three quarters (76%) of these babies might have had a different outcome with different care.

About the RCOG
The RCOG is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision. Visit our website 
www.rcog.org.uk and follow us on Twitter @RCObsGyn.