A Walsall Midwife who is working to improve the health and wellbeing of black and brown mums-to-be across the borough will be addressing a London conference next week.
Organisers of the Black Maternal Health Conference approached Carol King-Stephens, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Lead Midwife with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, after being impressed by her “knowledge, passion and insight” when she was keynote speaker at January’s Westminster Health Forum.
The conference, which takes place on Monday 20 March, has its focus on: “Bridging the gap between the community, service providers and industries.”
Carol said she was proud to be invited to be part of such an important conference where she will be joined by speakers covering mental health, research, obstetrics and psychology.
She said: “I was contacted by Sandra Igwe, CEO of the Motherhood Group following on from the Westminster Heath Forum event and she highlighted my knowledge, passion and insight.
“Sandra stated that “As a powerful and reputable voice within the sector, we believe your contribution to the day will support in the improvement of black women’s health outcomes, by not solely highlighting the gaps within the system and disparities – but providing nuance, further reiterating the importance of black women receiving health care that is respectful, culturally competent, safe and of the highest quality. “
“I always wanted to make a difference in Walsall but to be able to share the work we’re doing in a national setting is fantastic for the Black Country as a whole. I truly believe that when I have a platform such as this to be heard that I am being an advocate for many. Without listening and understanding, minimal change will happen so to be able to deliver this message to a larger audience is a fantastic opportunity to educate and inform so many others.”
Carol spends most of her time connecting with Walsall’s diverse communities.
“We will never build better relationships with our service users and address their needs meaningfully without joining them where they feel safe and comfortable – often not in a healthcare setting,” she added.
“The other EDI Midwives and I across our Black Country Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) pop up in supermarkets and join sessions with women at schools and various community organisations and groups and find we build trust in a much more effective way.”
Carol’s role is aligned with MBRRACE (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audit and Confidential Enquiries) reports. MBRRACE is a national audit programme and is commissioned by all UK governments to collect information about all late fetal losses, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and maternal deaths across the UK.