It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for the first time, Mr Hollobone. I thank all Members who have taken the time to attend the debate, in particular Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who I have heard speak before about her experience on this issue. I think she is incredibly brave to campaign and highlight the issue in the way she does. I thank her for her thoughtful considerations. I know that she is holding my feet to the fire as well as the Department’s, and that is a huge assistance in pushing the agenda forward within the Department of Health and Social Care.
I stand responding to the debate as a brand new grandmother of 18 days. The delivery was not uneventful, and the baby arrived early, which is a similar story to that of Florence Eshalomi at St Thomas’. Having given birth myself three times, I understand in a very raw way the pressures that all women experience, and I lived through just two weeks ago how emotional and incredibly frightening it can be when things do not go to plan.
This is the second annual awareness week we have had to highlight the disparities for black women in maternal health outcomes in the UK.