HC Deb 10 February 1964 vol 689 c27
29. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Health how many local authorities now employ married midwives either part-time or full-time on post-natal work, caring for women discharged from hospital early after childbirth owing to shortage of beds.

Mr. Braine

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Edelman

Is it not a fact that married midwives who no longer practise are regarded as by far the largest reserve of potential post-natal help? In the circumstances, will not the Minister circulate local authorities so that they might identify these married midwives and urge them to re-enter the service in order to deal with the very urgent need?

Mr. Braine

The hon. Gentleman may be aware that in our Command Paper on the Development of Community Care, it was suggested that more part-time midwives might well be included in future in local health authority establishments. By and large, local health authorities are generally able to recruit sufficient midwives, and the domiciliary midwifery service has been able to meet the demands; but I will certainly ask my right hon. Friend to consider the hon. Gentleman's suggestion.