HC Deb 05 June 1951 vol 488 cc794-5
20 and 21. Mrs. Jean Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) to what extent, in his consultations with local authorities on midwifery services, he urges the full implementation of the Scottish (Midwifery) Services Act, 1937, which provides a complete service of doctor, obstetrician, where necessary, and midwife; or if he is satisfied with a substandard midwifery service consisting of midwives and machines only;

(2) how many local authorities are now providing a complete and comprehensive midwifery service, as provided in the Scottish (Midwifery) Services Act, 1937; and how many have provided a sub-standard scheme of midwives only.

Miss Herbison

The main provisions of the Maternity Service (Scotland) Act, 1937, were superseded by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act, 1947. The services of general practitioners and specialist obstetricians are now provided under arrangements made by executive councils and regional hospital boards, respectively, and the responsibility of local authorities is limited to providing the services of midwives and ancillary aids.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Can the hon. Lady say what proportion of these midwives are equipped and trained to administer analgesia if necessary?

Miss Herbison

That is another question, and I could not answer it without notice.

Mrs. Mann

Can my hon. Friend give the percentage of cases in Scotland where both doctor and midwife were present, and the percentage where the midwife only was present?

Miss Herbison

In about 94 per cent. of the cases in 1950 both doctor and midwife were concerned.

Sir H. Williams

What are the ancillary aids to a midwife which the hon. Lady mentioned in her answer?

Miss Herbison

If the hon. Member had been here last Tuesday he would not have had to put that question. These aids are gas and air machines, trilene and all sorts of things like that.