PLEASE NOTE: A launch webinar will be held on 27 July 2023 11:00am. Find out more and book a place.
In May, Friends, Families and Travellers in collaboration with Roma Support Group released a new set of guidance offering insights into the experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities relating to maternity, with a view to improve knowledge and understanding of how to approach the planning and provision of maternity services for these groups. The work was delivered as part of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities face stark inequalities in maternal health outcomes, associated with major barriers to accessing care services, among other factors. Some of the barriers include:
- Lack of effective communication and accessible information in health services;
- Discrimination, both direct and structural, within public services in healthcare and beyond;
- Lack of awareness, sensitivity and accommodation of cultural norms, such as those relating to maternity care.
The impact of structural and institutional barriers on the maternal outcomes of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities results in:
- High rates of Caesarean birth reported by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller research participants, as well as consulted health professionals;
- High rates of Classical Galactosemia among infants born to Irish Traveller parents;
- High rates of miscarriage, pregnancy loss and/or child loss reported by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller research participants.
These resources are designed to support all professionals who provide maternal health and care services to people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. The insights and voices of members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities were prioritised in every stage of the research process, in order to ensure that the guidance authentically reflects the experiences and needs of people from these groups.
Speaking about the importance of these guides, Rosie Hollinshead, Health Policy & Projects Officer at Friends, Families and Travellers said:
“The guides on ‘Tackling maternal health inequalities experienced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities’ hold up a mirror to the healthcare system and structures that cause so much pain and anguish to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families.
These resources present a real opportunity for healthcare professionals to help tackle these barriers, and to help ensure that everyone is able to access safe, secure and person-focused care.”
About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)
Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.
Email: [email protected]
Guidance [extended]: Tackling Maternal Health Inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. Friends, Families and Travellers. 2023. View extended guidance.
Guidance Summary: Tackling Maternal Health Inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. Friends, Families and Travellers. 2023. View summary guidance.