Maternal Health Disparities

Part of Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 26 April 2023.

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Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

It is entirely wrong to suggest that the taskforce does not represent black women, given that Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, its co-chair and one of the most renowned midwives in the world, is a black woman herself. She has been leading and driving forward this work, including work on local maternity and neonatal systems and the publication of equity and equality action plans; I am sure that the hon. Member has read the plan for her own area. Meanwhile, the Nursing and Midwifery Council is introducing standards including the expectation of cultural competence, NHS England is introducing workforce diversity and the “Getting to Equity” programme to ensure that aspiring ethnic minority midwives are promoted, and the maternal medicine networks are targeting black women in particular with the aim of improving their overall health during pregnancy. Significant work is being done in this regard.