HC Deb 08 June 1999 vol 332 c458
14. Mr. John Randall (Uxbridge)

What plans he has to review the grading of midwives. [85011]

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Frank Dobson)

In February, we published proposals on modernising the national health service pay system to provide midwives and nurses with a modern career structure to replace the current rigid grading system. The proposals have been generally welcomed and are now the subject of talks with representatives of the staff involved.

Mr. Randall

Is the Secretary of State able to give comfort to those in the profession who are seriously worried that continued recruitment at grade D will only bring further problems with recruitment?

Mr. Dobson

I can try to reassure members of the profession. As I said, our proposals for modernising health service pay are intended to give midwives and nurses a new, modern career structure, with three tiers to replace the current clinical grades, including grade D, and to enable progression within each tier for any individual midwife who takes on particular responsibilities or undertakes courses in professional development.