Vulnerable women – a better outcome for their children, 2009

Submitted by:Royal College of Midwives and NCW Health Committee

The National Council of Women, in conference assembled: (i) notes with concern that, in 2009, women living in disadvantaged or minority groups and communities are still experiencing worse outcomes for their own and their babies’ health than women in the rest of the population; (ii) believes that preventative health begins with the mother and her unborn child, that all women should have early and equal access to high-quality maternity services, and that midwives have a crucial role to play in improving the complex health and social care needs of socially excluded women, thus reducing health inequalities; (iii) welcomes the involvement of midwives in innovative programmes of support such as the Family Nurse Partnership which provides intensive parenting support to families living in some of the most socially deprived communities in England;. (iv) further welcomes the deployment of midwifery services in children’s centres, which provides a more accessible location for socially excluded women to find care.

Conference therefore calls on the Government to ensure sufficient resources are made available to: (a) facilitate initiatives such as the Family Nurse Partnership and having midwives working in children’s centres; and (b) ensure there are sufficient midwives in post to allow them to play a leading role in promoting public health and tackling health inequalities.

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