House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2002-03
Publications on the internet
Health Committee Publications

Health - Eighth Report

Here you can browse the report together with the Proceedings of the Committee. The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 10 July 2003.


Terms of Reference


1. Introduction

2. Disadvantaged groups and access to maternity services: the current situation

What evidence is there that disadvantaged groups do not have full access to maternity services?

What evidence is available and what are the gaps in knowledge?

What can be learned from the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths?

What is the Government doing to help disadvantaged women gain access to maternity services?

What is the role of maternity services in the context of the Government's Health Inequalities Strategy?

How will the Children's National Service Framework address inequalities in access to maternity


3. What are the barriers to access for disadvantaged women and their babies?

Minority Ethnic Groups

Refugees and asylum seekers

Those who do not speak English as their first language

Those who live in poverty, and those who are homeless

Those from the travelling community

Those who live under threat of domestic violence

Those with severe mental health problems

Those with severe disabilities

4. How can barriers to access be overcome?

Assessing the needs of disadvantaged women and their babies

Consultation at individual level

Consultation at community level

Training staff to provide appropriate care

Providing specialist services in hospital and in the community

Good practice in provision of targeted services

Advocacy and interpreting services

Working with the voluntary sector

Working with other health and social services

Providing continuity of care

Continuity of carer

Woman-held notes

5. How can maternity services help to reduce health inequalities?

Smoking cessation


A wider public health role for the maternity services?

6. Conclusion

Conclusions and recommendations

Formal minutes


Tuesday 13 May 2003

Tuesday 20 May 2003


List of written evidence

Written Evidence

Reports from the Health Committee since 2001

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