Statement in response to the Birthrights inquiry report into racial injustice in maternity services

Published on 23 May 2022

Responding to the Birthrights inquiry report into racial injustice and human rights in UK maternity care, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the NMC, said:

“We welcome today’s report and its crucial focus on the profound impact racial inequalities can have on maternity care. While childbirth can be the most joyous occasion in people’s lives, we know that many women, families and babies still experience unacceptable disparities.

“Our standards of proficiency for midwives are clear that professionals must always focus on the needs, views, preferences and decisions of women, and the needs of newborn infants. We want to make sure that Black, Brown and Mixed Ethnicity women receive the support and care they have the right to expect, without fear of discrimination.

“Safe, kind and effective maternity care must be a reality for everyone, everywhere. We’re grateful to those who shared their stories as part of this Birthrights inquiry. Listening properly to these experiences helps us to understand the inequalities that exist within maternity care and what we need to do to tackle them.

“We’re working through the inquiry’s calls to action and the expert panel’s proposals so we can enable the positive change we all want to see.”

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