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Maternal Mortality: Ethnic Groups

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 90226, tabled on 15 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to end the increased risk of maternal death for Black women.

Answered on

23 September 2020

Work to reduce health inequalities around maternal mortality rates is being led by Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, Chief Midwifery Officer. This includes understanding why mortality rates are higher, considering evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and taking action.

The NHS Long Term Plan outlines plans to reduce health inequalities and address unwarranted variation in maternity care. Targeted and enhanced continuity of carer can significantly improve outcomes for women. The Long Term Plan sets out that 75% of black women will receive continuity of carer from midwives by 2024.

NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to Local Maternity Systems on 22 June 2020 to ask them to take four specific actions to minimise COVID-19 risk for minority ethnic women and their babies: increase support for at-risk pregnant women; reach out and reassure pregnant black, Asian and minority ethnic women with tailored communications; minimise the risk of Vitamin D insufficiency; and ensure correct ethnicity and postcode data are collected.