Improving equity and equality in maternity and neonatal care

We are reviewing and updating these webpages to reflect the current work of the maternity and neonatal programme.

What the NHS is doing and how

The NHS is working to improve equity for mothers and babies and equality in experience for staff. The NHS has set out why this work is needed, the aims of this work and how the NHS will achieve its aims in two documents:


The guidance seeks to respond to the findings of the MBRRACE-UK reports about maternal and perinatal mortality, which show worse outcomes for those from Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic groups and those living in the most deprived areas. In doing so, consideration was given to the strong evidence highlighted in the NHS People Plan that “…where an NHS workforce is representative of the community that it serves, patient care and…patient experience is more personalised and improves”.  Therefore, the strategy recognises that improving equity for mothers and babies also requires a focus on race equality for staff.


The guidance has been produced under the clinical leadership of:

  • Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, Chief Midwifery Officer for England
  • Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women’s Health
  • Dr Misha Moore, National Specialty Advisor for Obstetrics – Public Health
  • Wendy Olayiwola BEM, National Maternity Lead for Equality.


The guidance was developed by examining the evidence and consulting parents (including Maternity Voices Partnerships and service user voice representatives), NHS staff, royal colleges, arm’s length bodies, government, the VCSE sector and others. Thank you to all who contributed; your input has strengthened the guidance.