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RCOG statement: Response to claims that the NHS favours vaginal delivery on basis of cost

News 15 April 2016

Following a neonatal death at North Middlesex University Hospital, a coroner has submitted a report to the Department of Health warned that the NHS favours vaginal delivery over Caesarean sections on the basis of cost.

Professor Alan Cameron, Vice President of Clinical Quality for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“We are saddened to hear of the unfortunate death of Kristian and our condolences go his family.

“When making decisions around childbirth, safety is always the principal focus, cost is never a consideration. Adopting a risk-based approach, healthcare professionals have clear guidelines and recommendations from NICE around the type of birth a woman has and decisions should be made jointly between a woman and her obstetrician and/or midwife once the risks and benefits of all options have been considered.

“The RCOG takes stillbirth, neonatal death or the birth of a baby at full term but with brain injuries very seriously and has committed to reducing these tragedies by 50% by 2020 through our Each Baby Counts programme. A crucial part of the project involves bringing together the lessons learned from local investigations in order to improve the quality of care in labour at a national level.”

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For media enquiries, please contact the RCOG press office on 020 7772 6444/300 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk