Released on: 12 October 2023
Responding to the 2023 MBRRACE-UK Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care report, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT said:
“Our deepest sympathies are with the bereaved families and communities affected by maternal loss. The tragic rise in maternal deaths sadly reflects the unhealthy state of the UK’s current maternity services – unequitable, underfunded and understaffed.
“It is incredibly disheartening that the government is not on target to halve maternal mortality in the next two years, which will undoubtedly disproportionally affect women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and those facing multiple disadvantages.
“Women living in the most deprived areas remain more likely to die and we know the cost-of-living crisis is exacerbating inequalities and widening the gap for those in priority need of care. COVID-19 was the leading cause of maternal deaths with Black and Asian women more likely to die. It reminds us again that there cannot be progress without addressing the persistent disparities in outcomes for women from diverse ethnic backgrounds and those facing multiple disadvantages.
“This must start with an overhaul of postnatal care – a service that is dangerously fragmented and underfunded. There must be a more joined-up approach across services so that suicide is no longer the leading cause of death for women postnatally.
“While the government has committed to more investment in the NHS, we are not seeing enough action at the speed needed to enable maternity services to deliver the safe, compassionate and equitable care women so desperately need throughout the perinatal period.”
To read the full report, please click here.