asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the acute difficulties with which nursing homes, catering for maternity cases, have to deal in respect of shortage of midwives and domestic staff; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?
I am aware of the difficulty experienced by maternity homes, owing to the general shortage of midwives, nurses, and domestic staff. Measures for improving recruitment and distribution of midwives and nurses are now being considered by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service in consultation with me and with the assistance of the National Advisory Council which he has recently set up. As regards domestic staff, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) on 18th March.