As ever, I am grateful to be called to speak, Madam Deputy Speaker, although I was not anticipating it because I was not here at the beginning of the debate. I can only apologise for that, but I was elsewhere on unavoidable duties.
This is a debate in which we love to hate participating. It is not a pleasurable experience for anyone who has lost a child, and I know that some Members across the House feel exactly as I do when speaking in this debate. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the opportunity to lay my annual asks on the table.
First, I must give an enormous amount of thanks to the previous Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my right hon. Friend Mr Hunt, whose speech I am really looking forward to watching on catch-up tonight. I am immensely grateful, as are all of us who have been involved in this area for many years, for all that he did. It must be counted as one of his major achievements as Secretary of State that there has been a 19% reduction in stillbirths and an 8% reduction in maternal mortality since 2010. Those are really good figures, and I hope that he will look back on his career in many years when he retires—