A DEWSBURY MP has met with health chiefs following a shocking report into baby deaths in our area.
Shahid Malik MP came face-to-face with Kirklees Primary Care Trust chief Mike Potts and Judith Hooper, director of public health, to discuss the contents of a study on infant mortality rates between 2002 and 2005.
The report showed the rate in Kirklees was twice the national average, with seven deaths per 1,000 births. In Dewsbury alone, the rate was 12 per 1,000.
It also highlighted how almost a quarter of pregnant women in Kirklees smoke until giving birth. In Dewsbury the numbers were even higher with 34% continuing to light up against the national average of only 18%.
Mr Malik said the findings of the report were extremely worrying and that he would be working closely with the PCT to address the problems.
He said: “We’ve witnessed massive investment from the Labour government with millions of pounds in Sure Start across North Kirklees and £35m in new health centres in Dewsbury, Ravensthorpe and throughout the area.
“Our challenge is no longer to develop world class facilities. The real challenge now is to educate people.”
The report on infant deaths in north Kirklees between 2002 and 2005 was published following an investigation into the problem by Kirklees Primary Care Trust.
Mr Potts added: “We very much appreciate Shahid’s time and efforts and look forward to working with him on this very important agenda.”