• Sylvia M. Clark R.N. (S.R.N., S.C.M., England and Wales)

    Corresponding author
    1. Sylvia M. Clark is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing. From 1974 to 1978 she worked in the United Kingdom, first as a state registered nurse and state certified midwife for England and Wales, and later as a family planning nurse practitioner at the Well Woman Health Centre in London. She has recently been a family planning nurse practitioner and program development consultant with Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. From January to April 1979 she will be attending the midwifery refresher course at Booth Maternity Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, preparatory for the examination for certification as a nurse-midwife in the United States.
    • Address correspondence to: Nancy Whitley, 125 Pearl Street, Mount Holly, New Jersey 08060.

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  • Note: In this paper midwives are referred to as females. While this term is accurate up to 1975, since the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act in that year male nurses have been eligible to apply for midwifery training.


In England and Wales, family planning and maternity care have grown up as separate components of well-woman health care, with midwives playing only a minor role in family planning. There are interesting historical and social reasons for the separate development of these 2 services that still very much influence today's practice. Although midwives with some additional training could become efficient and economic primary family planning providers, the movement toward this end is slow. Since this article was written the decision was made to extend midwifery training in England and Wales from 12 to 18 months. Now is the ideal time to plan for the inclusion of family planning as part of basic midwifery.