HC Deb 13 March 1998 vol 308 c391W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment the Minister for Women has made of the report of the Royal College of Midwives entitled. "Domestic Abuse of Pregnant Women" what plans she has to bring it to the attention of(a) the police and (b) other relevant professionals; and if she will make a statement. [29682]

Ms Ruddock

We welcome the report. The guidelines offer real support for midwives in dealing with very sensitive situations. It helps them to know the signs, both physical and emotional, to look for and how to help the woman involved and her children. The report has been brought to the attention of Home Office Ministers who have responsibility for domestic violence and the Police. Other professional groups are developing their own guidelines for their members.

Expenditure on External Management and IT consultancy
£ million
1995/96 14.3 2.7 0.6 6.9 0.2 0.2 3.4 28.3
1996/97 13 1.3 0.4 6.6 0.1 0.4 1.5 23.3
1997/98 (to date 31/12/97) 7.3 0.3 0.2 4.4 0.1 0.4 1.4 14.1
1997/981 9.7 1 0.4 7.5 0.1 0.7 2.1 21.5
1estimated full year

The Department has produced its own guidance on buying and using consultancy based on the findings of the Efficiency Unit Scrutiny Report on the use of External Consultants published in August 1994. This has been supplemented by individual Agency procedural guidance. External Consultants are only engaged when internal resources are not available; best procurement practices are followed to ensure that value for money is obtained; and assignments are subject to a post implementation review where appropriate. Not all consultancy projects lend themselves to analysis in terms of resultant savings; however the intelligent and selective use of consultants has delivered worthwhile solutions and benefits for the Department.

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