§ Mr. MacDougall
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many vacancies were unfilled in the NHS for qualified midwives in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The number of midwives working in the NHS increased from 22,570 to 23,080 between September 2000 and September 2001.
The Department has only collected vacancy information as at 31 March for the last three years. The information requested is in the table.
3-month vacancies for all qualified midwives 3-month vacancy rates (%) 3-month vacancies Staff in post March 1999 2.1 400 18,170 March 2000 2.8 510 17,880 March 2001 2.6 470 17,660
1. Three-month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March each year which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole-time equivalents).
2. Three-month vacancy rates are three-month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three-month vacancies plus staff in post from the previous September non-medical workforce census (whole time equivalent).
3. Numbers are rounded to the nearest ten.
4. Percentages rounded to one decimal place.
Department of Health vacancies survey each year and non-medical workforce census