19 NOVEMBER 1921, Page 12


THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—One cannot but agree with the desirability of a longer training for midwives. One would also urge that practicing midwives, and especially those who work on a district, should receive a pension according to the number of years' work, and should be paid a better salary than health visitors for the following reasons: Their work is of a much more respon- sible nature, their hours longer; wet or fine, day or night, Sundays, too, are they called upon; holidays are irregular and sometimes curtailed, and yet they work willingly. It would be better for the mothers and infants of the nation if all health visitors were women who had been practising mid- wives for at least three years, in addition to their other qualifications. With reference to "the dangerous practice of the Sairey Gamps," do not many still work as "handy women"? The maternal death-rate would decrease, also the damage rate to mothers and infants, if all women who attended the pallurient woman as "nurse" (I apologize for using the word, but it is common) were under inspection in the same way, or more so, as practising midwives. The untrained midwife who still remains on the midwives' roll has shown herself amenable to inspection and tuition, so why not others?—I am, Sir, &c., M. A. FOWLER (Inspector of Midwives for Norfolk County Coun(iP. The Shirchouse, Norwich.