Information for Pregnant women in the RAS community during Covid-19


(Published 5th October 2020) Co-produced by the Local Maternity Systems for the North East and the Regional Refugee Forum North East and its members.

The aim of these videos is to share urgent messages with pregnant women in the RAS community, in their own languages and via a trusted member of the community,  which could protect them and their unborn babies, as research shows BAME women are disproportionately at increased risk of becoming unwell through Covid-19.

Below are links to the information in video format which has been translated into 8 key languages.

Further Information

Each video starts with translated text of key headline messages, then features a question and answer session filmed in Zoom between the RCO host and Kathryn Hardy, Programme Lead for Local Maternity Systems in the region, where the RCO hosts Kathryn’s responses into their community language. This dialogue is pre-scripted, to ensure accuracy and consistency of messages across the RAS communities.

Recent research shows that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on black, asian, and minority ethnic pregnant women. All are at increased risk of becoming unwell with COVID-19. Black pregnant women are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19 than white pregnant women, while Asian women are four times more likely. Kathryn urges pregnant women to seek help immediately if they have any concerns about their health or their unborn baby’s health, explains how to access maternity services and the steps these services are taking to make sure they’re safe during the virus context, the importance of getting enough Vitamin D, and tackles some of the stories circulating on social media that can deter BAME women from accessing NHS services

Using these resources

The videos are being shared by RCOs with their communities via their own social media networks, and can be used by front line support and service providers working with these communities, including Home Office asylum support contractors. The RRF is sharing the translated text produced by its members in 8 languages, along with the meeting script in English, for use by anyone in making further resources. These can be downloaded at Q&A script and translations for text cards

All resources can be accessed via the RRF’s website at


The Local Maternity Systems in the North East reached out to the Regional Refugee Forum North East with a request to help disseminate urgent headline messages to pregnant women in the region’s diverse refugee and asylum seeker community. The eventual video content and format was developed via consultation meetings held by Regional Refugee Forum NE members and the LMS. The content contains both the headline messages and more in-depth detail responding to the specific reasons which deter some refugees and asylum seekers from accessing NHS services during the pandemic. A standardised script was agreed to ensure consistency and accuracy of message across communities and a format that brings the health professional and trusted community mobiliser together on screen as a Q & A session. The work of the RRF and its members has been entirely voluntary to demonstrate what good practice can look like in community engagement.

Kathryn Hardy, Programme Lead for Local Maternity Systems in the North East of England says

It’s been a pleasure working with the Regional Refugee Forum North East’s members to relay these important COVID-19 messages to their communities. Working together ensures that we, as health professionals, can relay messages in a way that is understood, is appropriate to their needs and addresses specific concerns they have.  I feel overawed at the support we’ve received. So many people came forward to help design the process, do translations and make the zoom recordings.

 Sharing these important messages regarding the impact COVID-19 is having on the Black, Asian and Minority ethnic community may save some lives. Ensuring that people seek help early and are assured that the maternity services are open as normal and are safe, will reassure families that help and support is there during this awful pandemic. Thank you.”