§ Mr. Hancock
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many qualified midwives are employed by the National Health Service and working as midwives;
(2) what is the total number of vacancies for midwives in the health services;
(3) what estimates there are of the numbers of qualified midwives who do not work as midwives but take other nursing jobs.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
I regret that information on which an estimate of the number of qualified midwives who take other nursing jobs or the total number of vacancies for midwives in the National Health Service is not available. However, the Department is aware of a survey recently conducted of a sample of district health authorities in England which showed that at 31 March 1985 slightly less than 4 per cent. of midwifery posts have been vacant for three months or more compared with about 5 per cent. found in a similar survey in 1984. At 30 September 1984 in England 17,860 whole time equivalent midwives, (excluding administrative staff but including agency staff) were employed in the National Health Service as midwives.