HC Deb 10 February 1986 vol 91 cc628-9
7. Mr. Gareth Wardell

asked the Secretary for Wales what was the perinatal mortality rate in (a) Wales and (b) West Glamorgan in (i) 1979 and (ii) for the most recent available date.

Mr. Mark Robinson

The perinatal mortality rate for Wales was 15.6 per thousand total births in 1979, and the corresponding rate for West Glamorgan was 18 per thousand total births. By 1984, the latest year for which this information is available, the rates had fallen to 10.5 and 9.2 respectively.

Mr. Wardell

Will the Minister assure the House that a comprehensive service for the newly born in Wales will be instituted, including a paediatric cardiologist, a paediatric cardiac surgeon and a paediatric surgeon so that babies born in Wales are given the same first-class service as babies born in England?

Mr. Robinson

Those matters must be considered by individual health authorities in terms of the priorities that they determine. However, the Government have had considerable success in reducing the perinatal mortality rate, which is part of the success of our perinatal mortality initiative.

Mr. Terlezki

Will my hon. Friend tell the House whether there have been any improvements in the maternity service in Wales?

Mr. Robinson

There has been considerable improvement in the maternity service in Wales in recent years, and the figures that I have quoted bear that out.