Clegg’s wife campaigns to save Sheffield babies

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NICK Clegg’s wife Miriam González Durántez was today launching a campaign to reduce the number of babies dying suddenly in Sheffield.

The wife of the Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP is backing an awareness drive about sudden infant death syndrome.

Each year, 35 babies die in Sheffield before their first birthday, slightly more than the national average.

Now health bosses are pushing a city-wide strategy to tackle the risk factors thought to lead to many of the deaths.

They will encourage mothers to breastfeed, urge parents not to smoke in the house, and promote safe-sleeping routines for infants.

The campaign was being launched at Sheffield Town Hall by seven ‘infant mortality champions’ who have agreed to promote the cause.

Mrs González Durántez said: “It is encouraging to see, due to the work of public health experts, trends in the rate of infant mortality have improved.

“However, there are still infants who die in their first year of life and whose deaths might have been avoidable, so there is more work to do.

“I am honoured to be an infant mortality champion and am fully committed to helping in whichever way I can.”

The other champions include Sheffield Council’s families spokeswoman Coun Jackie Drayton; Sheffield Children’s Hospital chief executive Simon Morritt; consultant paediatrician Lillias Allison; independent consultant Prof Pat Cantrill; and diversity expert Shahnaz Ali.