§ Mrs. Margaret Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he intends developing an integrated information system for maternity care data; and if he will meet the Royal College of Midwives to discuss the subject;
(2) if he will make a statement about the collecting of information about the maternity services with regard to working paper 11, "Framework For Information Systems: The Next Steps".
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Working paper 11, and "Framework For Information Systems: The Next Steps", a copy of which is available in the Library, dealt with the process of preparing information systems within the national health service, to support the changes described in the White Paper "Working for Patients". This involved wide consultation with health authorities and professional and other organisations, including the royal colleges, about information systems for services, including maternity, which will be the subject of contracts after April 1991.
"The Next Steps" identified the need to develop patient-based information systems to allow the linkage of community, in-patient and out-patient episodes. This is particularly relevant for maternity services. The service is now addressing the need for integrated systems, with the support of the Department. The views of the Royal College of Midwives will be considered with others.