The new research was commissioned after the UK Government launched a Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities this summer, and a key finding was that more than 60% of Black people surveyed don’t believe their health is equally protected by the NHS compared to white people – with a prime example being the fact that Black mothers in the UK are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth.
Despite mothers being more likely to give birth later in life and have underlying health conditions, which can raise the risks, maternal mortality rates in the UK have fallen since 2010. However, data from the MBRRACE partnership highlights persistent and significant differences:
- 7 in 100,000 white mothers die in childbirth
- 13 in 100,000 Asian mothers die in childbirth
- 23 in 100,000 mixed ethnicity mothers die in childbirth
- 38 in 100,000 Black mothers die in childbirth
We’re determined to change these unacceptable statistics, as part of the Tommy’s mission to make the UK the safest place in the world to give birth. The reasons for the dramatically different death rates are still not fully understood, and the NHS acknowledges the disparity but has no target to end it; we believe, as the JHCR report states, this must be rectified.