HC Deb 23 February 1905 vol 141 cc1081-2

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a copy of the evidence taken at the recent sworn inquiry at Claremorris regarding the appointment of a maternity nurse for Ballyhaunis Dispensary District has been applied for by a member of that board of guardians, and refused; and, if so, whether he will have one supplied to this gentleman at the earliest opportunity.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) No such application has been received. A copy of the minutes of evidence has been before the board of guardians since December last, and it is open to any guardian to read the evidence contained in this document, which is the property of the guardians.


To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Local Government Board has issued a sealed order compelling the Claremorris Board of Guardians to elect a trained maternity nurse for the Ballyhaunis Dispensary District, that the medical officer and other representative men from the district swore there was no necessity for the appointment of such a nurse, that there are two medical doctors and two trained maternity nurses already practising in that district, and that the evidence of the relieving officer of the district showed there was an average of only three or four applications from the poor each year for assistance; that some of the parties whose names were put to a memorial praying for a nurse have repudiated all knowledge of the matter; and, if so, whether he will give instructions to have the sealed order withdrawn.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The evidence of the medical officer at the local inquiry was not to the effect alleged. His evidence clearly showed that no provision existed for the skilled nursing of midwifery cases amongst the poor, and that the appointment of a midwife for the purpose was essential. He stated that the births during the past three years averaged 282; that two deaths had occurred in the same period, one of which, in his opinion, was preventable if the services of a trained midwife had been available; and that there had been a number of still-births in the district attributable largely to the absence of a skilled attendant. The relieving officer stated he had been obliged to requisition the assistance of a midwife on four occasions during the year. It is understood that there is a midwife resident at Ballyhaunis, but she is not an officer of the union and her services are not, therefore, available for the poor free of charge. It is not proposed to withdraw the sealed order.