TUC Women’s Conference Puts Spotlight On Racism In NHS Maternal Services

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TRADE unionists were urged to “become part of the solution” to end inequalities for black mothers, who are four to five times more likely to die in childbirth than white mothers BlackLIvesLabour

Delegates at a TUC women’s conference fringe meeting heard from mothers who said they had been neglected when accessing maternal care. Sandra Igwe, founder of The Motherhood Group, an advocacy group aimed at sharing black mothers’ experiences, said that training is needed for health professionals to improve understanding of the black maternal experience and to tackle harmful stereotypes.

Covid-19 has also had a disproportionate impact on black pregnant women. A study by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System found that they are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus than white pregnant women. Morning Star

A national inquiry into racial injustice in maternity care has launched a call for evidence.

Supported by the charity Birthrights, the inquiry will examine how racial injustice is leading to poorer health outcomes for mothers and babies in ethnic minority groups.

Benash Nazmeen, director of the Association of South Asian Midwives and inquiry co-chair, said: “As a midwife and an aunt to 13, I have witnessed, heard and felt the discrimination faced by South Asian communities.

“The repeated questions based on racial stereotypes, unsafe antenatal conversations due to cultural and communication barriers, and the appalling statistic that Pakistani women are more likely to have a premature baby or neonatal death in the UK as opposed to their country of origin – there are too many concerns that need to be unpicked and addressed.” Surrey Comet

The Shadow Minister for Health is John Ashworth. He was sponsored by Unite, Unison and the G & M trade unions, he is MP for Leicester South. Leicester has one of the largest Asian communities in the country. He must champion this call from the TUC Black, Asian and African women, and honour his debt to his labour movement sponsors. Lets hope he takes no cue from his wife Emille Olknow, who was one of the most quoted Party HQ staff members who undermined the labour movement in the 2017 General Election. Morning Star