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BSW maternity staff take part in celebration of programme to address birth inequalities

BSW neonatal and maternity staff recently attended a celebration of Health Innovation West of England’s Black Maternity Matters programme and the achievements of all the participants and champions involved to date.

Black Maternity Matters is a ground-breaking collaboration, supporting maternity and neonatal staff to reduce the inequitable outcomes faced by Black mothers and their babies.

In the UK, Black women still face significant disparities in maternal health outcomes, experiencing higher mortality and stillbirth rates compared to their white counterparts. These disparities are rooted in systemic biases, structural racism, and a lack of racial literacy within healthcare services.

To address these issues, Health Innovation West of England formed a collaborative with Black Mothers MatterBCohCo and Representation Matters to develop the Black Maternity Matters initiative, which was launched in 2021. The focus is on targeted anti-racism education, peer support, and quality improvement transformation projects for perinatal staff.

The event celebrated the achievements of the 84 maternity and neonatal staff from Gloucestershire; Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire; Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire who have been through the Black Maternity Matters programme so far, many of whom shared some of their learning and insights from the journey they have been on and how it feels for them  to be ‘part of the change’.

Keynote speaker Dr Karen Joash, a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said: “It is truly inspiring to see the work that’s being done to ensure that health inequities are reduced and health rights are restored. It is a civil right for all to have access to healthcare that listens, learns and grows.”

Find out more at the Black Maternity Matters website

Black Maternity Matters participants from across the West of England, including many from BSW.