Young women walking down a busy street

Addressing cultural health inequalities through targeted communications

Frimley Local Maternity Services has a high proportion of births to parents born outside the UK in certain local areas. We were commissioned to address cultural health inequalities and develop a communications campaign to raise awareness of available maternity services.

Evidence showed that maternal and perinatal mortality rates are significantly higher for Black, Asian and mixed-race women and their babies than for white women in these areas.

The challenge

In 2019/20 Wexham Park Hospital had 1,742 births from women where English is not their first spoken language. In 2018/19 over 35% of deliveries in Slough were to mothers from Black and minority ethnic groups.

Evidence shows that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. Women from these ethnic groups make up more than half (56%) of pregnant women admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Asian women are four times more likely than white women to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 during pregnancy, while Black women are eight times more likely.

Frimley Local Maternity Services wanted to address these discrepancies.

Our approach

Initially, interviews were conducted with mums to understand the barriers to accessing maternity services. A blended communications campaign was then developed targeted BAME communities. 

  • 8-week radio campaign on Asian Star in Hindi and Punjabi
  • 8-week Facebook advertising campaign
  • A dedicated page with translated materials on the Frimley LMS Maternity Website

What we heard

That women were:

  • Not being heard or listened to about concerns relating to their pregnancy
  • Feeling patronised because of culture or ethnicity
  • Feeling offended by cultural/ethnic bias. An assumption that someone doesn’t speak English because of their appearance
  • Gender bias. Different experience when in attendance with husband

Our results and impact

  • 94% of women have had their ethnicity recorded (over one year)
  • Increased accessibility to the Frimley maternity website and we now include a QR code in patient notes
  • All multi-disciplinary teams including paediatrics had cultural competency training on 19 May 2021
  • In-house mandatory training on cultural competency across maternity teams was set up
  • Developed a wider 'cultural competency' staff campaign, for roll out across all specialities at Frimley Health Foundation Trust
  • Began working towards a Frimley equity strategy for maternity
  • 29 women were interviewed by the Maternity Voices Partnership
  • The social media campaign reached 32,596 women, with 920 unique clicks through to the website.
  • The social media advert was displayed 156,036 times during the 8-week campaign.  750 women accessed the campaign in Polish.  The most active age bracket was 25 – 34 and 35- 44.
  • 2,000 translated leaflets were distributed in Frimley Park Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital, in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi

Find out more about this project by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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