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Health written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwives were employed in the NHS in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the likely number of midwives in the NHS in each of the next three years.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Information Centre for health and social care collects data on the number of midwives working in the National Health Service. The following table shows the number of qualified midwives working in the NHS in each of the last five years.

Full time equivalent (FTE) qualified midwives in England as at 30 September each year
  Registered midwives (FTE)
2007 19,298
2008 19,639
2009 20,236
2010 20,790
2011 20,519
Source: The NHS Information Centre for health and social care Non-medical Workforce Census

The Government are absolutely committed to ensuring that we have the right number of trained midwives, especially given the increased number and complexity of births in recent years. Women should receive excellent maternity services that focus on the best outcomes, for women and their babies, and the woman's experience of care.

It is the responsibility of local NHS organisations to plan and deliver a workforce appropriate to the needs of their local population, based on clinical need and sound evidence.

Since May 2010 an additional 960 midwives are now working in the NHS and midwife training numbers are at a record high, with 2,578 places planned for 2012-13. There are currently around 5,000 midwives in training.

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