Maternity care

£50m research tackling health inequalities in maternity care

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has launched its first ‘challenge’ funding call in a bid to tackle inequalities in maternity care.

Worth £50m and announced earlier this year as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s women’s health priorities for 2024, the call will establish a research consortium to target health inequalities before, during and after pregnancy.

For example, research has previously suggested that black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy or six weeks after than white women. Asian women have double the chance of white women.

The NIHR says the research consortium will address these types of figures, with academia, charities, the life sciences industry, patient groups, and other experts all joining forces.

“…innovative approaches to tackle maternity inequalities will save women’s and babies’ lives…”

The consortium will particularly aim for improvements which can be measured and benchmarked.

This call is set to be the inaugural challenge funding call, with future focuses to be announced in due course, according to the NIHR.

The challenge on maternity inequalities has opened today and will remain so until 22 May.

Scientific director for NIHR infrastructure, Professor Marian Knight, is “hugely excited” about the potential impact of this research.

She said that investing in “truly innovative approaches to tackle maternity inequalities will save women’s and babies’ lives” and the NIHR is ideally placed to deliver on this challenge call.

Life sciences and research will be the centre of a National Health Executive event, where healthcare leaders will come together to discuss everything from clinical trials and genomics, all the way to patient safety and pathology.

Register to find out more.

Image credit: iStock

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