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Midwives: Manpower

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of midwives that will be needed in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010 and (d) 2011; (159723)

(2) how many full-time equivalent midwives entered the NHS in each year since 1997.

Work force planning is a matter for local determination as local work force planners are best placed to asses their local midwifery needs for their local population.

There are sufficient new midwives being trained to increase the midwifery work force by over 1,000 leading up to 2009. In addition to this planned increase, local organisations are reviewing their work force capacity in line with the 2007-08 Operating Framework, and may identify the need to invest in their maternity services and increase staffing capacity.

‘Maternity Matters’ takes account of staffing levels up to 2009. No further assessments have been made centrally.

The Department does not collect information centrally on ‘new joiners’ in the national health service each year. The census however collects information on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in post as at 30 September each year. This information is shown in the following table. The number of FTE midwives has increased by 809 or 5 per cent. since 1997.

FTE number of midwives employed in the NHS as at 30 September each year, England

FTE

1997

18,053

1998

18,168

1999

17,876

2000

17,662

2001

18,048

2002

18,119

2003

18,444

2004

18,854

2005

18,949

20061

18,862

1 286 duplicate records were identified and removed.

Source:

Department of Health Non-Medical Workforce Census