Analgesia

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th March 1949.

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Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South 12:00 am, 29th March 1949

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many women received analgesia in childbirth in their own homes in the city and county of Aberdeenshire, respectively, in the years 1947 and 1948, who were attended by midwives only.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

No apparatus was available in Aberdeen City in either of these two years. Four sets were available in the county towards the end of 1948 and 12 women received analgesia when attended by midwives alone in their own homes.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Could the right hon. Gentleman give the percentage for the county, compared with the total births at home during these years?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

They were very small because this only became available at the tail end of 1948 and, of course, the births were taking place throughout the year.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

Is not this a disgracefully low average; and might I ask the right hon. Gentleman what orders he has issued to the local health authorities on this matter, and under what section of what Act he has issued those orders?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

If the hon. Gentleman knew Scottish health authorities, he would know that issuing orders was not the way to get their co-operation. A second point is that Aberdeen refrained from purchasing this apparatus in the belief that a more efficient or a more economical apparatus was coming along shortly—and that is quite a good Aberdeen reason.

Photo of Mrs Jean Mann Mrs Jean Mann , Coatbridge

Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that the standards set under the Scottish Midwifery Act, which are very much higher than those in England, will be adhered to; that the mothers of Scotland will not have any class distinction; and that services suitable for hon. Members opposite and their wives shall not be lowered for the women of Scotland?

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Will the Secretary of State tell the House whether, in fact, he has power to impose a duty upon local health authorities in Scotland?

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and Eastern

Aberdeen is now awaiting delivery of the apparatus.

Commander Galbraith:

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the question whether he has power to impose a duty on a local authority?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The original Question only asked how many women received analgesia. It said nothing about powers.