Mark Whitehead 18 April 2023

Racism plays key role in maternity death rates, MPs say

Racism plays key role in maternity death rates, MPs say  image
Image: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com.

‘Shocking’ racism has played a key role in creating higher death rates for black women and those from poorer areas in childbirth, according to a report by MPs.

The women and equalities committee says UK figures for 2018-20 show black women were nearly four times more likely than white women to die within six weeks of giving birth, and Asian women 1.8 times more likely.

Women from the poorest areas of the country, where a higher proportion of babies belonging to ethnic minorities are born, are two and a half times more likely to die than those from the richest, the report says.

The committee is calling for faster progress to tackle racism in the provision of services but says the many complex causes are still not fully understood and more funding and maternity staff are also needed.

The NHS in England said it was committed to making maternity care safer for all women, while the Government says it has invested £165m in the maternity workforce and is promoting careers in midwifery with an extra 3,650 training places a year.

Caroline Nokes, who chairs the committee, said births on the NHS ‘are among the safest in the world’ but black women's raised risk was ‘shocking’ and improvements in disparities between different groups were too slow.

‘It is frankly shameful that we have known about these disparities for at least 20 years – it cannot take another 20 to resolve,’ she added.

The Carer’s Allowance scandal image

The Carer’s Allowance scandal

Government has a choice, says Kirsty McHugh of Carers Trust: continue to rely on the unpaid labour of millions or take action to give a fairer deal to carers.
The new Centre for Young Lives image

The new Centre for Young Lives

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Officer - City Development & Regeneration

Aberdeen City Council
£99,064 per year
The role will have responsibility for working with a range of strategic stakeholders in ensuring and securing the economic growth of the city Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Recuriter: Aberdeen City Council

Strategic Development Officer

Essex County Council
£36425 - £42854 per annum
Strategic Development OfficerFixed Term, Full Time£36,425 to £42,854 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director of Adult Social Care

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£131,600 - £145,453 per annum
There has never been a more exciting time to work at Tower Hamlets Council. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Strategic Director

East Suffolk Council
£109,108 - £112,322 per annum + benefits
We are delighted to offer an opportunity to join our Corporate Leadership Team as a Strategic Director Suffolk
Recuriter: East Suffolk Council

Director of Housing & Health

East Devon District Council
Up to £102,000 per annum
Breathe even fresher air into our district. Devon
Recuriter: East Devon District Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.