No 17, Session 2002-03            28 March 2003

Second inquiry - Terms of Reference

Maternity Services Sub-committee:

Inequalities in Access to Maternity Services

The Health Committee Maternity Services Sub-committee will undertake an inquiry into the above subject.

The Sub-committee will examine inequalities in access to care for pregnant women and for parents and babies from disadvantaged groups.  The Sub-committee will consider the provision of appropriate care and advocacy services for:

  •  those from minority ethnic groups

  •  refugees and asylum seekers

  •  those who do not speak English as their first language

  •  those who live in poverty

  •  those who are homeless

  •  those who live under threat of domestic violence

  •  travellers

  •  those with severe mental health problems

  •  those with severe learning disabilities

  •  those with severe physical disabilities

    Organisations and individuals wishing to submit a short memorandum are invited to do so no later than Thursday 30 April.  Late memoranda will only be accepted at the Committee's discretion, and may not be considered for publication. Evidence sessions are likely to commence in May 2003 and a later press notice will give details of these.

Please note that the Maternity Services Sub-committee intends at a later date to undertake an inquiry into Choice in Maternity Services.  This inquiry will provide further opportunities for submission of evidence to the Sub-committee.

A guide to preparing written evidence for the Health Committee can be found on the main Committees page.  The Committee requests that evidence should be concise and in the form of a self-contained memorandum, prepared according to the guidelines set out by the terms of reference given above and preferably submitted electronically to healthcommem@parliament.uk .   Please note that the Health Committee is unable to investigate individual cases.

The Health Committee is a Select Committee of the House of Commons.  It is appointed under Standing Order No.152 to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Health and associated public bodies.  The Sub-Committee on Maternity Services, which was nominated on 12 December 2002, is appointed under Standing Order No. 152 and has the power to send for persons, papers and records.