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Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied that, bearing in mind the sometimes arduous character of the work of midwives, especially in country districts, the disparity between their wages and those received by district nurses is equitable; and whether he will make a statement.

Salaries are a matter for the Whitley Council, but district midwives in fact are paid substantially more than district nurses.

I am aware of both those facts, but is the Minister aware that it is the opinion of responsible people attached to or working with this profession that there should be some stimulus to recruiting district midwives? Is it not a fact that there is relatively little difficulty in recruiting district nurses but substantial difficulty in recruiting midwives? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this?

Yes, Sir. It is important that the district midwives should be up to strength, but the number of midwives coming into practice is steadily increasing.