HC Deb 27 June 1989 vol 155 c828
14. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the total number of midwives currently working in the National Health Service.

Mr. Mellor

At 30 September 1987, 19,320 whole-time equivalent midwives were employed in the National Health Service in England.

Mr. Bennett

Will the Minister explain to the House why morale among midwives working in hospitals is so low, why the numbers leaving the profession are steadily increasing and why recruitment is proving so difficult?

Mr. Mellor

I do not accept the premise of the hon. Gentleman's question. There are 20 per cent. more midwives today than there were a decade ago arid never have midwives been better paid than they are now. In the past 12 months their pay has increased on average by some 20 per cent. There is absolutely no reason for midwives' morale to be anything other than high.