Analgesia

Oral Answers to Questions — National Health Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th April 1949.

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Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South 12:00 am, 7th April 1949

asked the Minister of Health when he expects to receive the final recommendations of the Medical Research Council as to the latest types of analgesic drugs and apparatus suitable to be administered by midwives alone.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

No forecast can yet be given. Although existing methods will no doubt be reviewed by the committee which has been set up, the question remitted to the Medical Research Council by the Working Party on Midwives was on the possibility of devising improved methods. This is a relatively long-term project involving the initiation and conduct of actual research work, and quick results are not to be expected.

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

Will the right hon. Gentleman make a statement on the subject at the earliest opportunity, and ask the Medical Research Council if they are actively considering the matter?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The Research Council are actively considering the matter, but one thing we cannot do with a research body is to bring pressure to bear to make them hurry. They must carry out proper tests. The consequences of recommending apparatus not up to standard would be very serious.

Photo of Squadron Leader Samuel Segal Squadron Leader Samuel Segal , Preston

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that no final recommendations on this subject are possible? Instead, would he not consider the possibility of establishing a trial area, in which there could be scientific investigation of the appliances which are currently used by the medical profession?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The Research Council will take all those matters into account, and will have a controlled experiment of their own devising before making general recommendations.

Photo of Sir Malcolm Stoddart-Scott Sir Malcolm Stoddart-Scott , Pudsey and Otley

How many research workers are engaged on this line of research, and how much will it cost?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I cannot say, but if the hon. and gallant Member will put down a Question I will try to give him the information.