Fewer child deaths in borough

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THE BOROUGH has a lower rate of childhood deaths than surrounding authorities, a new report has revealed.

Wigan has repeatedly showed significantly lower rates of child mortality than its partner authorities in Bolton and Salford, according to the figures complied by the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP).

There were 21 child deaths in Wigan in 2010/11, a slight rise from the previous year but well down on the 29 recorded in 2008/9.

In comparison, there were 26 deaths in both Salford and Bolton in 2010/11, with Wigan also showing the lowest rates of the three authorities in 2009/10 and 2008/9.

The CDOP’s figures cover the deaths of children and young people from birth to the age of 18, including neonatal deaths of babies aged up to four weeks but excluding stillbirths.

The CDOP in Wigan has given special attention to the issue of infant sleeping deaths, including launching a three-year safe sleeping campaign last year.

The campaign aims to reduce cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by informing people about the risks of having young babies sleeping in bed with them, increasing training for midwives and other health professionals, and prominent marketing campaigns to ensure the message about safe sleeping is heard across the borough.

WSCB will also second two more part-time staff to support extra training for health staff, after councillors registered concern that not all staff working with babies were receiving the highest levels of training.

Ms Woolmore said: “The fact that some of our staff are not reaching Level 3 training has been highlighted as a very significant concern.

“People haven’t been accessing the training due to the pressures of work and having to be released from their day jobs to attend, so we need to make a concerted effort to ensure that is being done.

“Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission are also interested in this issue now, so that gives us extra leverage to ensure training is delivered.”