Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Are isolated maternity units run by general practitioners dangerous?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 21 March 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:744
  1. G Young


    A retrospective survey was carried out of women admitted in labour to an isolated maternity unit run by general practitioners in Penrith. In the five years 1980-4, 1267 women began labour in Penrith, of whom 1153 (91%) never required help from a consultant unit. Ninety required transfer during labour. Ten mothers and four neonates required transfer during the early puerperium, all to one receiving unit in Carlisle. There were six perinatal deaths during the five years; five occurred in babies delivered after transfer. The perinatal mortality was 4.7/1000. The low mortality, the low level of intervention, and the preference of women all support the retention of isolated units.