asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take to effect a reduction in the high perinatal mortality rate in the area of the Salop area health authority; and if he will make a statement.
Following a review of standards and procedures for perinatal care, Salop area health authority proposes to increase staffing levels in labour wards, and also in the special care baby unit at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital. Copthorne. There has already been an increase in paediatric junior medical staff. Additional monitoring equipment is being purchased for labour wards and, in due course, for the special care baby unit.Training courses in neonatal care are being developed regionally and West Midlands regional health authority has made an initial allocation of £150,000—£20,000 in the current financial year—towards the further development of neonatal intensive care in Birmingham which will provide a service to the region as a whole. In addition, the region's strategic plan due to be submitted shortly to my Department is expected to contain proposals for capital developments affecting maternity services in the eastern part of the county.