Maternity services have faces substantial scrutiny in recent years looking at the safety of services and the shortages of midwives affecting departments.
But one aspect of maternity care in the UK is also starting to come under scrutiny – and that is the scale of inequality for women and babies from a black or minority ethnic background.
Black or Asian mothers have the highest rates of stillbirths and neonatal baby deaths and black women are four times more likely to die during pregnancy than a white woman.
These findings have sparked widespread concern over the inequalities inherent within maternity services and healthcare generally.
To explore these issues and understand what is driving the poorer outcomes and importantly what now needs to happen to reverse the trends, The Independent’s health correspondent Shaun Lintern is hosting an online briefing with experts and campaigners. (To find out how to sign up for free scroll to the bottom of the article)
Professor Marian Knight, from the University of Oxford is leading work to understand what is happening in maternity services for ethnic minorities and how care can be improved.
She will be joined by campaigners Tinuke Awe and Clotilde Rebecca Abe, who founded the Fivexmore campaign group when evidence black women were five times more likely to die in giving birth first emerged.
Dr Mary Ross Davie from the Royal College of Midwives will also be joining the panel to talk about the steps being taken by clinicians to help tackle the inequalities.
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