Improving Equity in Maternity Services

How do we identify and tackle inequalities in maternity outcomes in an inclusive way?

There is lots of evidence internationally that women from Global Majority backgrounds are more likely to experience a variety of poorer outcomes across  maternity services (and this is also the situation in City and Hackney), such as stillbirth or early neonatal death, premature delivery and small for gestational age babies. 

The MATCH project brought together teams from the Homerton maternity services, statutory partners within social care and public health, voluntary sector services working in maternity settings, and residents & patients from the Maternity Neonatal Voice Partnership (MNVP), parent groups to understand perspectives across the system. A series of workshops identified the priority areas for change:

  • Drop in information hubs for women antenatal and postnatal (information, support, connect).
  • Community doulas.
  • Compulsory cultural awareness training co-produced with community and staff.
  • More translation available within maternity units.
  • More information at initial referral.

Making change

In March 2024 the MATCH Fund invited applications from eligible groups participating in the process to deliver projects in the priority areas for change that meet our programme impact aims. Two applications from the Homerton Maternity were funded for delivery from June 2024 to June 2025:

Birth Bridge

The Birth Bridge Project will establish a Community Doula service by providing training for 32 local people to become qualified Doulas to work alongside Midwives at the Homerton Hospital. Community Doulas will have a focus on representing and supporting women from Global Majority communities by providing access to high quality, culturally tailored doula support during their maternity experience. 

The project is expected to launch in August 2024, more information to follow.

Multilingual Maternity

The Multilingual Maternity project will enable the Homerton Maternity Service to translate it’s key digital patient information documents into the top 6 languages of patients in the Maternity Service, ensuring that staff have the tools to provide critical health information about the Maternity service to women in both digital and print format at point of contact. 

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