Bold solutions to transform health care for UK
black and Asian families
Clotilde Rebecca Abe, Co-founder of Five X More:
I’d like black women to have the same choices and opportunities for pregnancy care that are offered to other women. I’d like to feel empowered. And I’d like the health professionals to advocate for us and with us to improve care. The difference that we can see with Five X More being a part of this project is that the voices of the women are really going to be heard.
Where we'll work
⦁ Coventry - approximate population: 316,900 (44% ethnic minorities)
⦁ Leicester - approximate population: 329,000 (49.5% ethnic minorities)
⦁ London - approximate population: 9,420,000 (65% ethnic minorities)
Professor of Psychosocial Studies at UCL
In this interview, Professor Ann Phoenix describes her research into social relations, parenting and motherhood, including themes of racialization and intersectionality:
A diverse expert team
Combatting inequity from conception through early-life, the Fairer Futures team brings together world-leading interdisciplinary experts in science, health care and intervention, and black and Asian community organizations.
Comprising experts of different ethnicities, migration backgrounds and gender, our project team includes one of 35 black women professors in the UK, South Asian healthcare leads and the first black UK Chief Midwifery Officer.
The University of Warwick (Professors Siobhan Quenby and Dieter Wolke) provides scientific leadership with the collaboration of research centers focusing on early life, biomedical research, epidemiology, psychology and educational development and, at University College London, motherhood, childhood and family life.
The health care leads include the Director of the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Health- Professor Kamlesh Khunti - and Chief Medical Officer for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire - Professor Kiran Patel. The London-based community group 5XMore, the Chief Midwifery Officer Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health will facilitate community engagement and health care professional training.
Tinuke's birth story
Tinuke shares her experience as a Black woman, how she had late-diagnosed preeclampsia and how she didn't feel that she was being listened to:
How you can help
Racial inequity has been decades in the making. Now is the time for bold, systematic change. With your support, we pledge to ensure ALL UK families, regardless of their race, are given the same opportunities to have healthy children.
Professor Sudhesh Kumar
Dean of Warwick Medical School:
Our partnership of community voices, research experts, and health and social care providers will work to understand, co-design, test and deliver meaningful change.
Inequity starts in the womb
Black and Asian families in the UK suffer persistent inequities in birth and children’s early years' experiences and health outcomes. The reasons for this are complex. Fair Futures’ unique approach brings together world-leading experts in biological and social sciences, health care delivery and policy, and black and Asian community organizations.
Together, we will co-design and trial bold solutions that will lead to the implementation of tailored antenatal care and early parenthood support in the ethnically diverse cities of London, Coventry and Leicester. Through research, community involvement and policy and practice change, we will reduce maternal morbidity and pre-term births, ensuring healthier, equitable futures for black and Asian children and families.
Our unique approach
Testimonies from black and Asian women have made it evident that change requires multiple, intersecting factors to be addressed simultaneously. Fair Futures’ approach focuses on health care provision, practices and socio-structural barriers to access. We will:
- Build public awareness about maternity care and early-years outcome inequities, based on collaborative research informed by the participation of black and Asian families.
- Develop family-centred educational tools, health care interventions/packages and podcasts to be shared with health care providers and affected communities through campaign groups and workshops.
- Pilot and evaluate our approaches in Coventry, Leicester and London to change NHS maternity and postnatal care, also addressing midwifery/medical school curriculums/training.
- Engage with policymakers, demonstrating the value and potential applications of new health care practices and community engagement. We will create an Advisory Group of policy, medical, social and healthcare experts to act as a “pipeline” from family/community voices, suggestions and experiences to key policymakers in Government and NHS.
Our bold, innovative approach will drive forward the racial equity agenda and deliver systemic change through working in partnership with minority ethnic families, voluntary groups, and health care providers.
Our aim is to ensure all families, regardless of race, disability and socio-economic background, are given equal opportunities for healthy pregnancies and to have children who can reach their potential at school age.
Indicators of success:
- Increased awareness of the importance of health care/support for families planning a child, during pregnancy and in early years. Success will be measured by numbers of target groups actively seeking healthcare and support, for example, mothers booking and attending professional health care advice in the first three months of pregnancy and families accessing early years parenthood support.
- Families receiving health care that provides a positive pregnancy, birth and post-natal experience, through care that recognizes diversity and the intersectionality of race, poverty and disability and provides tailored sensitive care.
- Reduced preterm birth rates and maternal mortality for black and Asian families.
- Increased cognitive function and language development of babies born preterm through targeted parenting packages and improved wellbeing of families.
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent
Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England
In this interview, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent discusses inequities in birth and children’s health outcomes for black and Asian families in the UK and how the Fair Futures project will help address these: