Over the last few years, the work of MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquires Across the UK) has identified disparities in maternal outcomes for BAME women. The most recent MBRRACE-UK report is discussed here by associate, Rosie Nelson. Following this report, there have been a number of initiatives from interested parties to tackle these inequalities, examples of which are given below:
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) released a policy position statement to mark International Women’s Day in 2020, and followed this with the launch of its Racial Equality Taskforce at an inaugural meeting in October 2020.
The RCOG recommendations are that:
The RCOG has linked up with Five X More (an organisation committed to changing Black women’s maternal health outcomes in the UK) and launched a campaign of 5 steps for health professionals to adopt, helping to drive change and challenge attitudes, in order to end these inequalities. The steps are as follows:
The charity Birthrights is dedicated to ensuring everyone receives the respect and dignity they deserve in pregnancy and childbirth, and is running a national inquiry throughout 2021 into racial injustice in maternity care, for which they are asking BAME patients and healthcare professionals to share their experiences.
The organisation The Motherhood Group is dedicated to sharing and supporting the Black maternal experience through events, workshops, peer support, projects, and advocacy.
Elizabeth Maloney, associate in Penningtons Manches Cooper’s clinical negligence team commented, “We see the devastating consequences when maternity care is poor or negligent. The racial inequalities in maternity outcomes identified by the MBBRACE enquiry are shocking, so it is good to see that the RCOG and others are highlighting awareness and providing a guide to tackle this issue.”
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