Health Committee

No 6, Session 2002-03                                                13 January 2003

First Inquiry - Terms of Reference: Maternity Services Sub-Committee

Provision of Maternity Services

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

The Sub-committee will examine the provision of maternity services, and the variation in service provision, across England.  In particular the Sub-committee will consider:

  • the collection of data from maternity units

  • the staffing structure of maternity care teams

  • caesarean section rates

  • the provision of training for health professionals who advise pregnant women and new mothers

The Committee will investigate how staffing levels and training affect both the type of birth a woman is likely to have, and health of her baby in early life.

Organisations and individuals wishing to submit a short memorandum are invited to do so no later than Friday 14 February 2003.  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 March 2003 and a later press notice will give details of these.

Please note that the Maternity Service Sub-committee intends at a later date to undertake inquiries into Choice in Maternity Services and into Inequalities in Access to Maternity Services.  These inquiries will provide further opportunities for submission of evidence to the Sub-committee.

A revised guide to preparing written evidence for the Health Committee can be found at  Guide for Witnesses.  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 .   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. 

For enquiries telephone Jenny McCullough on  020 7219 2348

First Inquiry - Terms of Reference
Maternity Services Sub-Committee: Provision of Maternity Services