HC Deb 20 March 1990 vol 169 c552W
41. Mr. Gow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses and midwives were working for the National Health Service in March 1990 and May 1979.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

There were 241,800 wholetime equivalent qualified nurses and midwives (excluding agency staff, learners and unqualified staff) employed in the National Health Service in England in September 1988. This compares to 192,000 wholetime equivalents at 30 September 1979. The 1979 figure has not been adjusted to take account of the reduction in the nurses' working week from 40 to 37.5 hours introduced during 1980–81.

71. Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes have been made in the provision of training for nurses and midwives since 1978–79.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

On training for nurses, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Mitchell) on 20 February 1990 at column701. There have also been important changes in the education and training of midwives.In 1981, as a result of the implementation of EC midwives directives, post-registration midwifery training was lengthened from 12 to 18 months, and pre-registration midwifery courses from two to three years. The Department has provided pump-priming funds for the development of more pre-registration midwifery courses; it is hoped that seven schemes will begin in the autumn of this year. The last decade has also seen the establishment, at Oxford, of the first pre-registration degree course for midwives.