Birthrights, a charity that promoted human rights in maternity care, has criticised the government’s decision not to publish the MBRRACE-UK report “Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care’.
The MBRRACE-UK report was scheduled to be published 14 November 2019, but stakeholders were informed that the report will now be published no earlier than 13 December 2019 due to the government’s rules on publicity during purdah (pre-election period).
Chief Executive of Birthrights, Amy Gibbs, said: “The MBRRACE report is vitally important to prevent future maternal deaths, particularly in light of the racial inequalities previous reports have exposed.
“The delay by the government shows a disregard for an urgent need to address maternal mortality.
“In the UK, there are around 75 maternal deaths each year. The sooner the report is published the quicker changes can be made to improve care.
“It could make the difference between a mother’s life and death.”
The latest report, which was published 1 November 2018, showed that five times as many black women as white women died in 2014-2016, with Asian women twice as likely to die compared to white women.
The actions in the latest published report were targeted at healthcare professionals and Birthrights is arguing that the delay in publishing the report means that they are unable to improve maternity care practice as soon as possible.
Human Rights Solicitor at Leigh Day, who are representing Birthrights, Rosa Curling added: “The report is published annually and contains objective facts concerning maternal mortality which are not politically sensitive or directed at any political parties. Our clients are urging NHS England to reverse their decision and publish the report without any further delay.”
The 2018 MBRRACE report can be found here.
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