In September 2021 the National Maternity Transformation Programme released the Equity and Equality Guidance for local maternity systems detailing the key priorities and interventions for improving equity and equality for women and families and race equality for staff.
Equity means that all mothers and babies will achieve health outcomes that are as good as the groups with the best health outcomes.
For this, maternity and neonatal services need to respond to each person’s unique health and social situation – with increasing support as health inequalities increase – so that care is safe and personal for all. This will help us ensure that England is the safest place to be pregnant, give birth and start parenthood.
The MBRRACE-UK reports about maternal and perinatal mortality show worse outcomes for those from Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic groups and those living in the most deprived areas. This guidance seeks to respond to those findings. In doing so, it is important to consider the strong evidence highlighted in the NHS People Plan that “…where an NHS workforce is representative of the community that it serves, patient care and…patient experience is more personalised and improves”. If equity for mothers and babies is to improve, so must race equality for staff.
The Lancashire and South Cumbria maternity and newborn maternity alliance has set up an assurance group to oversee the development of co-produced robust plans, which will be delivered in the main, through the Prevention and Workforce and Education Transformation workstreams.