§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will explain his policy with regard to the domiciliary midwifery service.
§ Mr. Ennals
The Department has advised that where possible there should be integrated midwifery divisions based on hospitals and covering both hospital and community service, but in some areas community midwifery is still provided by means of a separate domiciliary midwifery service. Midwives have a very important part to play in the provision of antenatal and post-natal care in the community, particularly in the case of those 667W mothers who are transferred home very shortly after birth delivery. All women are advised wherever possible to have their confinements in hospital for reasons of safety but where this is not possible or where the mother is unwilling to have her confinement in hospital the service should include the attendance of a midwife at the home confinement.