Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Pregnant Women

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions are in place to safeguard the welfare of pregnant women in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Pregnant women are not normally detained. The only exceptions to this general rule are where removal is imminent and medical advice does not suggest the woman’s baby is due before the expected removal date.

Fitness to travel by air is assessed on a case by case basis using guidance from the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). The guidance states that for a single, uncomplicated pregnancy, travel could be appropriate without a medical certificate up to 37 weeks.

Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre has a dedicated Care Suite that offers enhanced care to vulnerable and pregnant women, staffed by a dedicated female member of staff. Midwives from NHS Bedford Hospital Trust visit the centre once a week and the centre's GP or nurses can be accessed 7 days a week and can refer any specific concerns to the ante natal clinic, Early Pregnancy Unit in hospital or other appropriate service if necessary. The centre also has a Pregnancy Liaison Officer who provides a range of support and welfare services to pregnant detainees.

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