HC Deb 10 February 1959 vol 599 c190W
Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the shortage of midwives, particularly in maternity hospitals; and what steps he is taking to rectify this shortage and attract more nurses into this profession.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The shortage of midwives in the hospital service has been considered by the National Consultative Council on the Recruitment of Nurses and Midwives, whose recommendations have been circulated to all hospital authorities for their guidance.

I am sending to the hon. Member a copy of the memorandum embodying these recommendations, which appear to me to offer the most helpful approach to a solution of this problem.

I am also making arrangements for medical and nursing teams from my Department to visit areas where the shortage is most acute in order to study the local difficulties, to advise the hospital authorities on remedial action and to obtain further information as a guide to future policy.