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Supporting women from disadvantaged backgrounds

Findings from MBRRACE-UK report on maternal deaths (2022) show the increasing inequalities in deprived and disadvantaged areas are impacting maternal deaths.

The report calls urgently for a continued focus on the broader physical and mental health of the mother, and a greater focus on understanding and addressing the social determinants of health. Mental ill health and heart disease are on an equal footing as the cause of maternal deaths. Suicide is the leading cause. Those with mental health illness are less likely to engage with health and social care services.

The report states that actions are required to understand and work with these women and determine the best way to care for women who require complex intersecting services.

If your hospital currently has a service that supports women from disadvantaged backgrounds, please help the College understand what types of services are available around the country by completing this short form. It will take no more than 5 minutes of your time.


The purpose of gathering this information is to understand how maternity staff can ensure that they can identify these women and provide the right support service to them throughout the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods. This includes:

  • Do antenatal clinics across the UK have a service that supports women
  • How do they classify a vulnerable pregnant woman
  • What are the referral pathways
  • How many women are seen in clinics

By understanding the current services available, how they are set up and if there is variation around the country, the College could benefit from producing good practice guidance and help gather intelligence from across the country to learn from best practice. Outputs will also be able to inform the College’s maternity safety work going forward.