§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to increase the number of midwives employed in(a) hospitals and (b) the community. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The Government are implementing a range of measures to recruit more midwives, both in primary and secondary care. These include improving pay and conditions, encouraging the national health service to become a better, more flexible and diverse employer, increasing training, investing in child care and continuing professional development, attracting back returners and running national and local recruitment campaigns. As a result of these initiatives, there are more than 1,500 more midwives working in the NHS in England than in 1997.