HC Deb 23 October 1961 vol 646 cc534-5
6. Mr. Snow

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied that the present organisation of midwives under the National Health Service Act, 1946, Part 3 is operating smoothly in rural areas; and whether he will investigate the suggestion that there should be ambulance midwives in rural areas, in the light of the excessive time spent by midwives on long ambulance journeys to distant hospitals which detracts from the time which should be spent on local cases.

Miss Pitt

In general, yes. A midwife should very rarely need to accompany patients by ambulance. If the hon. Member has a specific problem in mind, I will gladly consider it.

Mr. Snow

I will be happy to provide the Minister with the details of a case. Apart from that, as it is the general principle which appears to be involved, will she consider seeking the advice and guidance of the professional organisations concerned?

Miss Pitt

If by the "general principle" the hon. Gentleman means the principle that a trained midwife should accompany each ambulance, I think it would be an uneconomic use of trained woman-power. In fact, it has been tried by some of the local authorities who are responsible for providing the ambulance service and has been discontinued for that reason; all ambulance personnel are trained in first-aid.

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