Research Article

Audit of 26 years of obstetrics in general practice.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 22 April 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:1077
  1. G. N. Marsh,
  2. D. M. Channing
  1. Norton Medical Centre, Cleveland.


    To assess the feasibility and quality of general practitioner obstetrics an audit of 1223 consecutive obstetric deliveries over 26 years was carried out with standard clinical records. The perinatal mortality of 9.0 per 1000 births was significantly better than the national average of about 19.0 per 1000 for the overall period. During the audit home deliveries virtually stopped. The proportion of consultant bookings and deliveries more than doubled because of more stringent booking arrangements despite relocation of the previously isolated general practitioner unit to beneath the consultant unit. Abnormal deliveries also rose significantly. A "steady state" was achieved during the final 11 years in which 73% of women booked to be delivered by their general practitioner, 64% were admitted to the general practitioner unit, and 54% were delivered by their general practitioner. Though this is enough to sustain obstetric experience, the proportion might safely be increased.