A review of more than 55,000 births has shown worrying variations between different maternity units.
The report, carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggested that not all women received the best possible care.
The review looked at official data on births in 2013-14, excluding non-standard deliveries such as twins, triplets and pre-term babies. It revealed different rates of emergency caesarean sections, instrumental deliveries and episiotomies.
In some maternity units eight per cent of mothers needed emergency C-sections, but in others the figure was 15 per cent. The number of women who needed an episiotomy ranged from 29 per cent to 44 per cent, and figures for natural births needing assistance using instruments also varied.
RCOG president Dr David Richmond said: “We are concerned about the amount of variation identified in this report. It is paramount that maternity units have information about their services, as well as the ability to compare themselves to the national average and to their peers.” The college has collated the results on a webpage.
Ally Taft, Partner with Medical Accident Group, said: “Pregnant woman should not have to negotiate this kind of postcode lottery – this data should be used by maternity units to improve their own standards, so that they offer all women the highest possible level of care.”
If you have suffered because of poor pregnancy or birth care, Medical Accident Group can help. Our experienced and sympathetic team, whose knowledge of clinical negligence and personal injury law is extensive, can support you through the process of making a claim and seeking justice. We can also advise on a wide range of issues from brain injury or birth injury to surgical and medical errors and accidents at work. Call us free on 0800 050 1668.