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Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many student midwives she expects to qualify in 2007; and how many places she expects there to be in the NHS for newly qualified midwives. (142283)

In 2004-05, the national health service commissioned 895 midwifery degree places. Those who successfully complete the training will qualify in 2007.

Additional midwives will qualify through a variety of programmes, including an 18 month pre-registration education programme, adaptation and return to practice programmes. These programmes are funded and arranged locally, depending on local needs and therefore the start and end dates vary.

It is a joint responsibility between higher education institutions and local NHS organisations to see that midwifery and other health care graduates are supported to find employment. Vacancies for graduates continue to be posted on “NHS Jobs” and the NHS Careers information service can direct graduates to appropriate sources of information and advice. Graduates are encouraged to be flexible when applying for posts.

In developing “Maternity Matters”, which outlines the Government’s vision for maternity services, the NHS workforce review team identified that the midwifery workforce would increase by 1,000 leading up to 2009.