WHY HAS THE CAESAREAN RATE IN EAST KENT NHS BEEN AT APPROXIMATELY 32% plus FOR YEARS, YET NHSE` DIRECTIONS FROM JACQUELINE DUNCKLEY – BENT (BELOW) ARE TO NOW INCREASE IT TO ABOVE THE` CURRENT 20% RATE WHEN IN KENT THEY HAVE CONSISTENTLY ALREADY BEEN OPERATING AT 75% HIGHER THAN THIS.
The disparity in the postcode lottery continues. There’s no national cohesion in deliveries. Our evidence shows that the need continues for improvements and unified agreements, which need to be based on listening to and informed choices for mothers and fathers/birth partners, with midwives being allowed to work in unison with obstetricians without peer pressures. These concerns were identified IE in the Donna Ockenden investigation into the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital scandal which exposed the problems caused by the culture of bullying which continues to plague the maternity department services. The last thing mothers in labour need is tensions to contend with between the Midwives and Doctors and the problems arising from adjusting to the mixed messages they are receiving. This may be another contributory factor in midwives leaving their valued profession. Since the current state of affairs has lasted so many decades few mothers are aware as I am, of just how good it can be, and we should always be seeking to improve.
WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS WHEN CAMPAIGNS LIKE EVERGLOW ARE BEGGING TO BE HEARD.?
Abandon ‘normal birth’ targets, hospitals in England told
Letter to maternity units says action to limit caesarean sections is potentially ‘unsafe’ and clinically inappropriate Hospitals in England have been told to abandon targets aimed at limiting the number caesarean sections carried out, over fears for the safety of mothers and babies.
Maternity units were told in a letter to stop pursuing “normal births”, with the chief midwife describing the targets as potentially “unsafe” and clinically inappropriate.
The letter from Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, NHS England’s chief midwife, and Dr Matthew Jolly, the national clinical director for maternity, instructed “all maternity services to stop using total caesarean section rates as a means of performance management”.
NHS trusts have for years benchmarked their caesarean section rates against the average. Around one in four babies in the UK is born by C-section, but there is considerable variability between different hospitals.The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) formally abandoned its normal birth campaign in 2017. Responding the change of policy, first reported in the Sunday Times, Gill Walton, RCM’s chief executive, said that decisions about clinical care should be made in the best interests of the woman and her baby “not because of an arbitrary target.”
“While we welcome the decision by NHS England to remove targets that penalise maternity services for higher caesarean section rates, it’s a shame it’s taken so long,” she said. “Those running local services will be delighted that this target has finally been removed.”
Dr Jo Mountfield, consultant obstetrician and vice president at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We welcome this clarification from NHS England. These targets are not appropriate in individual circumstances. Both vaginal and caesarean births carry certain benefits and risks, which should be discussed with women as they choose how they wish to give birth.
“Women giving birth should feel supported and their choices should be respected. The RCOG does not support one method of birth over another.”
- NHS England drops limit on offering Caesarean births – BBC
- The NHS in England will no longer limit the number of Caesarean sections it performs, under plans to improve care for mothers and babies. Maternity units were previously encouraged to promote natural births and keep the Caesarean rate to about 20%. It comes after one NHS trust was criticised for poor maternity care. 21 Feb 2022