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Midwifery (Male Staff)

Volume 26: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what evaluation has been made of men in midwifery practice and their acceptability to mothers and their partners; and whether further evaluation is planned;

Perinatal and infant mortality: numbers and rates for all births and home births, 1978–80. England and Wales
197819791980
NumberRateNumberRateNumberRate
Perinatal mortality*
All births9,31315·59,40214·68,79613·3
Home births20020·821624·320425·0
Infant mortality
All births7,73013·08,06412·67,79011·9
Home births15916·715918·115719·5
* Rates per 1,000 total births
† Rates per 1,000 live births
Care should be taken in interpreting these figures. A detailed analysis of data relating to home births has recently been published by OPCS

* .

* Perinatal mortality and place of delivery; Rona Campbell et al, Population Trends 28 (HMSO 1982).

(2) if he intends to open all midwifery training places to male applicants; and if he will make a statement.

Studies into the training and employment of men as midwives have been carried out in Islington health district and Forth Valley health board, the two locations currently authorised to undertake this training.A report on these two schemes was circulated to health authorities, professional and other interested bodies for comment earlier this year and, in conjunction with other health Ministers, I am currently considering the comments that have been received. I hope, shortly, to make a statement on the proposals outlined in the consultation; on the lifting of the restrictions, on training and employment of men as midwives.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men have undergone midwifery training since 1978; how many have qualified; and 'what proportion of total midwives they represent.

In Great Britain, 40 men have entered training since 1978. Of these, 28 have qualified as midwives, five are currently undergoing training, and seven discontinued training.During the period 1 April 1978 to 31 March 1982 a total of 21,000 men and women entered training, thus giving the ratio of one man to 525 women entering training.