By Annie Williams
A new report shows that the rate of infant mortality nationally are increasing, with Merseyside holding one of the highest figures.
Health professionals and charities across the country have voiced serious concern at the trend in England and Wales, which was confirmed in data published by the Office for National Statistics.
Smoking among mothers, maternal obesity and poverty are all said to be amongst the potential causes for this increase, as well as the shortage of midwives across England.
20 councils from across the north west have wrote to the chancellor to call on Government to do something about the rising figure.
Councillors in Liverpool will today be discussing a report which identifies Liverpool as having one of the highest rates for infant mortality nationally. The report shows that Liverpool has an average of 5.2 infant deaths and live births per 1000, compared to the national rate of 3.9.
Cabinet member for children services Barry Kushner raised the link between austerity and the increase in infant mortality in Liverpool last year and today has spoken about this trend branding out nationally.
Councillor Kushner said: “Unfortunately, there is a national trend in terms of increases in infant mortality.
“20 of us [councillors] have written to the Chancellor this week pointing out the crisis that there is in children’s social care and the need to provide adequate funding to deal with that.”