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Report sets out recommendations for reducing inequities and improving care for babies of Asian and Black mothers

The Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across UK (MBRRACE) collaboration, which is co-led by The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies (TIMMS) group at the University of Leicester and the Nuffield Department of Population Health’s Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), has today published the results of a confidential enquiry into the care of Black and Asian babies born in the UK in 2019.

The report, which is compiled using anonymised medical notes, builds on the annual Perinatal Mortality Surveillance reports into babies who die before, during, or shortly after birth. Although the overall proportion of babies who die has reduced over the past five years, there are still big differences in the proportion of babies from different ethnic groups who are dying. Among all ethnic groups, Black babies now have the highest mortality rates and are twice as likely to be stillborn or die within the first 28 days after birth. Asian babies are over one and a half times more likely to be stillborn or die within the first 28 days after birth when compared with White babies.

This enquiry looked at the pregnancies of 34 Asian women, 36 Black women, and 35 White women where the baby was stillborn or died within 28 days of being born. The aim of this enquiry was to review the quality of care, as it was recorded in the medical notes, and to find out whether different care may have made a difference for the baby and the mother. The care the babies and their mothers received was compared with care outlined by national guidelines for best practice, assessed by a group of clinical experts. The enquiry also compared the care given to Asian and Black women with the care given to White women.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.

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