HC Deb 15 July 1913 vol 55 cc1078-9W

asked the Chief Secretary in how many workhouses in Ireland are extern midwives employed; who defines their duties; do they keep report books; has the medical officer of the Mitchelstown workhouse complained frequently for the past two years of the manner of the maternity nursing in that institution, and asked the Local Government Board to define the midwives' duties; and have they been defined or have the instructions of the medical officer been carried out, or the Nursing Order of 1901 with regard to workhouse nursing been complied with?


Extern mid wives are employed in forty-five workhouses in Ireland. These women are required to act under the directions of the medical officer of the workhouse, and after much careful consideration the Local Government Board came to the conclusion that it was better that they should be under the general instruction of the medical officers than that an attempt should be made to expressly define their duties by general regulations. Complaints have been received from the medical officer of the Mitchelstown workhouse, as stated, but the Board see no reason why the arrangements which have been found to work satisfactorily elsewhere could not likewise be observed in this institution. As regards the last part of the question, the nursing arrangements in this hospital have not been satisfactory according to the evidence at a sworn inquiry recently held by the Board, and they are in communication with the guardians on the subject.