asked Her Majesty's Government:
In the light of recent discrepancies in government figures, what is the increase in the number of training places available for midwives alone; how this has increased over the last three years; and what assurances they can give that this increase will be sustained.
The information is shown in the table.
1998-99 data is unvalidated.
1999-2000 training places are planned.
Degree = pre-registration students undertaking a full-time equivalent degree course leading to a new midwife entering the labour market.
Diploma = pre-registration students undertaking a full-time equivalent diploma course leading to a new midwife entering the labour market.
Midwifery other = post-registration students, who are already qualified nurses undertaking a full-time shortened diploma or degree course or part-time leading to a second registration as a midwife.
This year there are over 19,000 nursing and midwifery training places available, 4,000 more than three years ago, of which over 1,800 are midwifery--4 per cent more than planned for 1998-99: 1,800 midwifery training places represents about 10 per cent of the workforce. The Government are committed to delivering 6,000 new nursing and midwifery training places by 2002. This target was based upon delivering 1,000 of those new places in the current year (1999-2000), but we are now planning to deliver 1,600. This means that cumulatively 4,800 of the places have already been secured and the number of new nurses and midwives available from summer 2002 will be 60 per cent higher than originally planned.