Disparities in maternal deaths are unacceptable

18 April 2023

Responding to the women and equalities committee's report on black maternal health, NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley said:

"Trust leaders will be deeply concerned that black women are almost four times more likely to die from childbirth than white women.

"Disparities in maternal deaths are unacceptable, especially when NHS births are among the safest in the world. The NHS can, and must, do better.

"Trust leaders are committed to addressing inequalities in maternal care and providing high-quality personalised care to all mothers.

"As this report shows, much more progress is needed to improve care and outcomes for black mothers as well as efforts to tackle staff shortages in maternity services.

"The government's Maternity Disparities Taskforce, due to meet today, is a chance for renewed commitment to ensuring trusts and their staff have the investment they need to make much quicker progress on addressing maternal inequalities."