Released on: 29 June 2020

In response to the latest measures introduced by NHS England to support BAME women during the Covid-19 pandemic, head of insight and engagement at NCT, Sarah McMullen said: 

“The inequalities that women of black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds face during pregnancy and in childbirth urgently need addressing. In 2019, an MBRRACE-UK report found that black women were five times more at risk of dying during childbirth compared to white women; Asian women twice as likely and mixed-race women three times as likely.

"Research has now shown that the Covid-19 pandemic has added additional risk, particularly for these groups of women. Black pregnant women are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19, while Asian women are four times as likely. Fifty five per cent of the pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are from a BAME background, even though they only make up a quarter of the births in England and Wales. 

"Everything possible needs to be done to improve outcomes and to reduce the health inequalities that BAME women face, so we welcome the new measures that are being introduced by NHS England. However, it is important that further research takes place to understand the increased risks, together with ongoing monitoring and review to ensure that actions are effective, as we need to be absolutely confident that all women are getting the best possible care.”

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