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Midwives: Students

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many student midwife training places were commissioned in each academic year since 1997; how many student midwives (a) entered training, (b) were in training and (c) qualified as midwives in each of those years; what the total cost to the public purse was of (i) all aspects of that training and (ii) the financial support paid to individual student midwives (1) in total and (2) on average per student midwife for each year; and what the attrition rate for student midwives was in each year. (122639)

Table 1 shows the number of midwife training places which were commissioned and the number of student midwives in training in each academic year since 1997.

The Department does not collect centrally the number of students who qualified as midwives in each of these years.

The total cost of training student midwives for each year since 1997 is set out in table 2.

The financial support paid to individual student midwives in total and on average per student midwife for each year since 1997 has been placed in the Library.

Information for England on the percentage of pre-registration midwifery students who have left their university course is given in table 3. Each year represents an intake year. A complete measure of attrition for a cohort of students will include withdrawal figures for each year of their programme. No data are available for 2001-02. The attrition data for the 2002-03 academic year onwards administered by the higher education statistics agency are in the process of being analysed by the health services information centre.

Table 1: midwifery pre-registration training commissions/student midwives in training

Degree

Diploma

Other

Total

1996-97

161

498

993

1,652

1999-2000

395

620

757

1,772

2001-02

621

525

732

1,878

2002-03

709

724

677

2,110

2003-04

753

716

757

2,226

2004-05

895

744

735

2,374

2005-06

1,042

517

661

2,220

Source:

Quarterly monitoring return

Table 2: the total cost of training student midwives for each year since 1997

Financial year

Total cost (£ million)

1997-98

42.6

1998-99

34.6

1999-2000

45.6

2000-01

51.4

2001-02

58.7

2002-03

59.0

2003-04

65.8

2004-05

79.4

2005-06

82.2

Notes:

1. 1997-1998, 2004-2005 and 2005-06 are forecasts (actual outturn was only collected from 1999 onwards). No data are available for 2006-07.

2. Data in the above time series are not strictly comparable due to changes in the way data were collected.

3. Average bursary costs for nurses and midwives added to tuition costs from 2000-01 onwards.

Table 3: attrition rates of student midwives since 1997

Percentage of midwives failing to complete courses

1997-981

18.23

1998-991

17.17

1999-20001

14.59

2000-011

6.7

1 These data are not complete as they do not include withdrawal rates for each year of the course for the intake year specified.