Between 2000 and 2011, rates of Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury (OASI) were shown to have increased in England. Experiences in some maternity units have highlighted that some of the underlying problems related to this rise in OASI include:
- Inconsistencies in approaches to preventing OASIs
- Inconsistencies in training and skills
- Lack of awareness of risk factors and long-term impact of OASIs
- Variation in practice between health professionals
In light of this, the OASI Care Bundle team developed and piloted an intervention package, including a care bundle and guide, a multidisciplinary skills development module for health care professionals, and campaign materials designed to raise awareness among clinicians and women).
The OASI Care Bundle Project received funding from the Health Foundation Scaling Up Programme to implement this intervention in 16 maternity units across England, Scotland and Wales from 2016 to 2018.
The RCOG and RCM would like to encourage all healthcare professionals to adopt the care bundle into their practice to improve health outcomes for women.
Read the statement of support
Formal implementation of the care bundle in the 16 participating units ended in April 2018. The OASI Care Bundle team subsequently evaluated the merits of the programme and their evaluation papers were published in 2020.
Note: the qualitative evaluation of women’s perspectives will be published in autumn 2020.
Watch: The OASI team discuss learnings from the project