HC Deb 06 March 1961 vol 636 cc14-5
22. Mr. Abse

asked the Minister of Health what is the character of the inquiry being conducted into the infant mortality rate in the Merthyr area; whether a report will be published when the inquiry is completed; and whether similar inquiries are intended to be conducted in Monmouthshire and other areas in Wales where a high infant mortality rate exists.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Edith Pitt)

This is a field investigation into every branch of the services for mothers and babies which could have a bearing on perinatal mortality. It covers all Wales and is being carried out by medical officers of the Welsh Board of Health. The conclusions will be published.

Mr. Abse

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for that information. In the meantime, can she not at least ensure that in areas like Monmouthshire the number of maternity beds in existence is increased to the recommended Cranbrook standards? This is particularly important in view of the housing conditions there. Would she also in the meantime at least see if it is possible to increase the number of appointments in existence there so that there can be proper training for medical men to become fully qualified upon the obstetric register?

Miss Pitt

It is really another question, but in fact considerable developments are taking place in the hospital service and the maternity service in Wales. I will examine this matter and write to the hon. Gentleman.