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Baby deaths highest in London

Babies most likely to die in their first year are born to mothers living in deprived parts of London, research shows.

If babies born to poorer households in the east and north of London had the same chances of survival as others then 41 infant lives would be saved every year.

The London Health Observatory (LHO) says its research means better targeted maternity services are needed in the capital.

The observatory has also developed a risk profile for each primary care trust in London.

"Our analysis shows that there is room for improvement in every PCT in London, even in areas where infant mortality is currently lower than the average," said LHO Director Dr Bobbie Jacobson.

"We must ensure that all women, particularly those from at-risk minority groups, benefit from early access to maternity care."

To target care and track progress, however, good quality maternity data is needed but this is not readily available.

Dr Jacobson adds: "We would like to see a big improvement in data collection from all hospital trusts in the future."

London Health Observatory

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Sixty nine of London's 625 electoral wards had zero infant deaths in the three-year period 2003-2005 according to ONS data.  Those 69 wards were all free from PM2.5 emissions from incinerators. Chingford Green ward, in Waltham Forest, is not a "deprived" ward, yet that ward had an infant mortality rate of 17.1 deaths per 1,000 live births during 2003-5" - Michael Ryan, Shrewsbury

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