asked the Minister of Health where expectant mothers attending ante-natal clinics should obtain maternity packs and dressings for the lying-in period; if he is aware that the West Ham local authority is refusing to issue such free packs and dressings, and that expectant mothers are referred to their general practitioners for the sterile dressings, etc.; and whether it is in order for practitioners to issue such prescriptions.
Local health authorities should arrange for maternity outfits for domiciliary confinements to be supplied at clinics, through midwives, or in some other convenient way, and for other dressings required during the lying-in period to be provided by the midwife in attendance. I understand that the West Ham Council are at once reconsidering their practice. Maternity outfits and sterilised dressings are not included in the schedule of appliances which a general practitioner may prescribe for his National Health Service patients.