Maternity Care

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1996.

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Photo of Lady Olga Maitland Lady Olga Maitland , Sutton and Cheam 12:00 am, 17th June 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made on standards of maternity care in hospitals in Wales. [31650]

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

Public satisfaction with NHS health care remains high—typically more than 90 per cent. Information from the 1995 Welsh health survey shows that more than 19 out of 20 women surveyed were satisfied with the care provided by midwives, in particular.

Photo of Lady Olga Maitland Lady Olga Maitland , Sutton and Cheam

For most women, childbirth is the most important time in their lives during which they need medical assistance. Has my hon. Friend studied a report from the Department of Health in England entitled "Changing Childbirth", which gives greater priority than ever before to assessing the individual needs of a mother and to helping her to make her own choices about the management of childbirth? Does he intend to implement the report's proposals in Wales?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

I am well aware of the Department of Health report to which my hon. Friend refers. We have a protocol that covers the matter, and it is being updated. The work is being led by the North Wales health authority. In addition, the chief medical officer and the chief nursing officer have commissioned a review of the matter, focusing on making progress with the various parties in the protocol. The report is imminent.

Photo of Mr Gareth Wardell Mr Gareth Wardell , Gower

Now that the problems of the internal market have been seen clearly in Wales, will the Minister guarantee that there will be no reduction in the standard of maternity care as a result of the substitution of staff grade doctors for consultants in maternity units?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that no one in the NHS in Wales wants any reduction in care.