Released on: 12 July 2023

Responding to the review of neonatal care assessment and practice in Black, Asian and minority ethnic newborns, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT, said:  

“There is much to be done to tackle discrimination in health services and the appalling racial disparities in the care that Black, Asian and minority ethnic newborns receive, who are more likely to die, compared with white babies.  

“The current newborn assessments are outdated and completely out of touch with the diversity of families in the UK today. Racially biased guidance disadvantages babies with darker skin, delaying appropriate treatment and making it more difficult for parents to raise concerns.   

“There are major inconsistencies in guidance, lack of training or recommended alternative language for staff to identify concerns in Black, Asian and minority ethnic newborns. Many workers are unsure how to properly assess newborns with darker skin, often resulting in incorrect or late diagnoses.  

“We fully support the recommendations in the report to update guidelines and assessments to accurately reflect babies of all skin tones. We recognise the need for urgent training and education for healthcare workers to confidently assess all babies, including access to diverse images and impartial technology to help mitigate any inaccuracies.” 


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