Equality and Diversity in maternity services is critical to providing the best possible care for women and their families. Chris Evans, Senior Consultant at Apira who has supported multiple maternity system projects for our customers, talks about some of his experiences and why he feels diversity is affecting maternity care.
Personally I think equality and diversity within maternity services is about taking account of the differences between people and groups of people and placing a positive value on those differences. Pregnancy-related mortality rates among women who are Black, Asian, and mixed ethnicity are over three and two times higher, respectively, compared to the rate for White women, according to data provided via multiple platforms and NHS Trusts. Unfortunately, they also have higher rates of still births, low birthweight births, or births for which they received late or no prenatal care compared to White women. It is also worth noting maternal death rates increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and racial disparities widened for Black women.