§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many hospital-based midwives are employed by each area board in Northern Ireland.
The numbers of hospital-based midwives—whole—time equivalents—at 31st March 1978 were:—
natal, 8 weeks; post-natal, 8 weeks, neonatal, 6 weeks; community care, 4 weeks; night duty, 12 weeks.
During this time, the student midwife must witness five deliveries, carry out 30 deliveries, take a history of 20 pregnant women, examine not fewer than 40 pregnant women and nurse 30 mothers and babies.
The Northern Ireland Nurses and Midwives Council is required to have constant regard to the improvement of methods employed in the training of nurses and midwives and has submitted a proposal to the Department of Health and Social Services for improvement of this course by extending the period of training from 12 to 18 months to enable additional theoretical training and clinical experience to be provided. This proposal has been accepted in principle and consultations with the health and social services boards are in progress about implementation from the earliest practical date.