A 2020 MBRRACE-UK report into maternal deaths and morbidity revealed that women from Black, Asian and mixed-race ethnic backgrounds were more likely to die from complications during childbirth than white women.
The statistics were staggering. Compared to white women, women from Asian and mixed-race backgrounds were twice as likely to die during childbirth, and Black women were four times more likely to die during childbirth.
It seems as though women from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be ignored within the healthcare system, increasing the risks surrounding childbirth exponentially. In an interview with the BBC, Dr Ria Clark stated that Black women in particular “may not feel that they will be taken seriously, which might make them less likely to disclose how they are feeling.”
It is clear that action needs to be taken by both the government and the NHS to reduce the risks faced by women of ethnic minority during childbirth. Labour MP Janet Derby put it bluntly: “we must address the systemic biases that impact on the care we provide for ethnic minority women.”
At the very least, honest conversations need to be had within the healthcare system; although, Mars Lord, a doula suggested to the BBC that conversations surrounding racial bias in maternity care are “often shut down” by those who feel uncomfortable with the suggestion that it exists.
It goes without saying that the same duty of care is owed to all patients, irrespective of their characteristics. If you feel as though you have suffered loss or injury as a result of sub-standard healthcare, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Farleys clinical negligence specialists. Our experts have experience of acting for women in claims of negligence which have resulted in the loss or injury of their baby or the injury of the mother. To discuss your case in confidence, please call the team today on 0845 287 0939, email us, or contact us through the online chat below.