Received from: RCM
In 2019, the sixth MBRRACE Perinatal Mortality Surveillance report Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care was published. Mortality rates among Black minority ethnic women are five times higher than white women during pregnancy and childbirth. This is unacceptable.
The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified the entrenched disparities in health. The UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) study found that Black pregnant women are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19, while Asian women are four times as likely.
The quality of investigations into maternal deaths must be improved and subsequent recommendations implemented so that future harm to families can be avoided.
Continuity of care significantly improves outcomes for all women from all backgrounds, particularly those in areas of high socio-economic disadvantage. More specialist midwives in every trust and every health board is a first step to ensuring that all women have the positive pregnancy and birth experience they deserve.
Congress calls on the TUC to lobby the government to:
i. conduct a review of the current research evidence about the key reasons why BME women are at higher risk than their white counterparts, identifying key recommendations for service change
ii. conduct a root and branch review of the resources that maternity services need to improve the maternity care that BME women receive
iii. commit to invest in the extra resources identified
iv. commit to more specialist midwives in every trust and health board so that every woman gets the high-quality care and support they need throughout their pregnancy.
Royal College of Midwives