Black Maternal Health Week — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:02 am on 14th September 2021.

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Photo of Anne McLaughlin Anne McLaughlin Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control) 10:02 am, 14th September 2021

Absolutely. The right hon. Member for Romsey and Southampton North mentioned evidence from the Women and Equalities Committee. I was not on the Committee at the time, but NHS staff gave evidence saying that they felt unable to speak up. A number of years ago when I was a Member of the Scottish Parliament, I met with a group of South African nurses, and they were astonished that they were able to meet with a parliamentarian, because they thought it was not their right to be represented. They told me the things that were happening to them in their jobs in the NHS, and they certainly needed someone to support and represent them, so, yes, I do completely agree with the right hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

Maternity Action research found that, just like staff who were too afraid to report, black and minority ethnic women tended not to report negative experiences, and they were less likely to be treated with kindness by health professionals or spoken to using terms they could understand. Although data has not been collected recently, a 2007 confidential inquiry into maternal and child health found that between 2003 and 2005 10% of all maternal deaths were women who could not speak English. As we heard earlier in an intervention from my hon. Friend the member for—Eastwood?