We have welcomed the announcement today by the Department of Health and Social Care of a new Maternity Disparities Taskforce.
We are pleased to be represented on this Taskforce through the Maternity Consortium, which we run jointly with Tommy's.
The taskforce will explore inequalities in maternity care, with a focus on identifying how the government can improve outcomes for women from ethnic minority communities and deprived areas.
"We know there is unacceptable variation in pregnancy outcomes experienced by women from ethnic minorities and those living in deprived areas. The Maternity Taskforce is an important opportunity to understand and address the causes of this.
"The challenge for the taskforce is significant. Mothers from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK currently experience two to three times higher rates of stillbirth and perinatal deaths compared to white women, and black women are forty per cent more likely to experience miscarriage than white women."
- Clea Harmer, Chief Executive, Sands
How we will make a difference
We are committed to using our collective expertise in the Maternity Consortium to make meaningful progress in reducing health inequalities throughout pregnancy.
More about the Taskforce
The taskforce will be established by Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care, Maria Caulfield, and co-chaired by Chief Midwifery Officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE.
The government has committed to halve the rate of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries by 2025.
The latest figures show the stillbirth rate has reduced by over 25% since 2010 and the neonatal mortality rate has reduced by 29%, surpassing the ambition for a 20% reduction by 2020.
However, while progress has been made, disparities continue to persist – the reasons for these remain unclear and it is crucial that they are addressed.
Support for you
We are here to support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby. Find out more about our support and get in touch.