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Call for evidence for inquiry into racial injustice in UK maternity services

Campaign charity Birthrights wants to hear from women and their families as part of its inquiry into racial injustice in UK maternity services.

Posted on 15 March 2021

It is gathering evidence of people’s experiences of maternity care and giving birth in the UK.

The charity says it wants to hear from Black, Brown and Mixed ethnicity women and birthing people about the care they received during their pregnancy, birth and after their baby was born.

It also wants to hear from health care professionals working within the maternity services about their experiences of racial injustice and how it impacts on them both personally and professionally.

Individuals who are able to help are asked to complete an online form.

Healthcare professionals are asked to fill in a separate form.

Any other relevant information from experts in the field is also welcome, says Birthrights. It can include existing published and unpublished evidence (both qualitative and quantitative).

The inquiry is considering:

  • What does racism and bias look like in maternity care in the UK?
  • How does it manifest differently for specific ethnic groups?
  • What impact does racism and bias have on birth outcomes?
  • What impact does racism and bias have on maternity care experiences?
  • What harms are being caused to Black, Brown and Mixed Ethnicity birthing people?
  • Which specific human rights are under threat?
  • How does intersectional discrimination on other grounds (such as age, disability, gender identity, sexuality) combine with racism to exacerbate outcomes and experiences?
  • What does good look like – concrete examples of anti-racist, culturally safe and rights respecting care?
  • What change is needed – legal, policy, systemic, practice, individual?

Any relevant documents should be sent to

Birthrights says all stories and any personal information shared will be stored in a secure way and only used with permission for the purposes of the inquiry.

Leigh Day clinical negligence partner Olive Lewin said:

“This is such an important issue. Children are left without mothers, and women and babies are left injured. The discussion is long overdue, and any contribution can only take this essential subject forward.”

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Olive Lewin

Olive is an experienced healthcare lawyer who has specialised in the field for more than 25 years, having previously trained as a nurse

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