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Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we have only about two-thirds of our required establishment, that the position is getting worse and is prejudicing us in Sunderland, and that it appears to us it will not improve until better conditions are provided for midwives?
The shortage of domiciliary midwives in the country as a whole is about 7 per cent., which is not too serious a figure. There is an acute local shortage in Sunderland, but, as I have said, the council is taking special steps to try to alleviate it.