The NHS Long Term Plan identifies significant progress in maternity and neonatal care: Since 2010, the NHS has seen an 18.8% reduction in stillbirths, a 5.8% reduction in neonatal mortality and an 8% reduction in maternal mortality, which now occurs in fewer than 1 in 10,000 pregnancies.
However, there is still unwarranted variation in the outcomes of maternity and neonatal care due to health inequalities. For instance, MBRRACE-UK reports that outcomes are worse for Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic groups and people living in the most deprived areas.
Our programmes support the national ambition, set out in Better Births to reduce significant harms and rates of stillbirth, maternal mortality and preterm birth. They also recognise that to address the areas of greatest need here, we need to put special emphasis on identifying and developing innovations and improvements for groups that are currently experiencing undue variation in care quality.