The theme of this year’s World Health Organization World Patient Safety Day is “Safe maternal and newborn care,” with the slogan “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth! 

This World Patient Safety Day, our call to action is:

  • Listen
  • Treat women and birthing people as individuals
  • Challenge your biases

A common focus throughout our National Maternity Safety Conference was the need to reduce inequalities in healthcare. A recent MBRRACE-UK collaboration report found that “maternal death rates were almost four times higher for women from Black ethnic backgrounds and almost two times higher for women from Asian ethnic backgrounds, compared to white women.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the structural and cultural biases already present in the UK’s healthcare system. This has a significant impact on women and birthing people, and it is important that reducing inequalities and tackling these biases remains a priority.

We asked maternity experts and family voices including Marian Knight (Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health, University of Oxford; MBRRACE-UK Collaboration), Dr Christine Ekechi (Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist; RCOG Race Equality Taskforce), Sandra Igwe (Founder of The Motherhood Group; Co-Chair, National Enquiry into Racial Injustice), Dr Gloria Rowland (Chief Nurse for the NHS in South West London; author of Turning the Tide) Eddie Morris (President of the RCOG) and Gill Walton (CEO of the RCM) to reflect on ways we can work towards equity and tackle healthcare inequalities.

We have created this video to highlight current inequalities and encourage the use of the video across the maternity sector.

Let us know what you think using the hashtag #ListeningforSafety

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