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Maternity services in England debated in the Lords

26 January 2024

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Members of the House of Lords debated the delivery of maternity services in England, on Thursday 25 January.


Baroness Taylor of Bolton (Labour), former Leader of the House of Commons, put forward the debate.  

This was a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.      

Members speaking  

Contributing members included:

  • Baroness Cumberlege (Conservative), former independent chair of the National Maternity Review
  • Lord Patel (Crossbench), former consultant obstetrician, Ninewells Hosptial, Dundee
  • Baroness Thornton (Labour), board member for maternity safeguarding, Whittington Hospital, London
  • Baroness Watkins of Tavistock (Crossbench), emeritus professor of nursing at Plymouth University.

Opening the debate, Baroness Taylor said:

'No one can doubt the critical importance of maternity services...The Care Quality Commission tells us that maternity services were under pressure prior to Covid and that that has worsened. The commission also tells us that almost half of all the maternity services inspected in 2023 were rated as either in need of improvement or inadequate.'

Lord Markham (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Department of Health and Social Care, responded on behalf of the government:

'We are committed to ensuring that all maternity services provide safe and compassionate care...The Secretary of State last week announced that improving care during and after pregnancy will be one of her top priorities in implementing the women’s health strategy in 2024.'

Get involved  

Watch and read the debate   

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript. 

Explore background information

Find out more in the House of Lords Library briefing on the debate.

Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.

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