Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospitals in England are told to stop using caesarean rates to assess performance

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: (Published 21 February 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o446
  1. Emma Wilkinson
  1. Sheffield

Hospital chiefs in England have been told to stop using targets for caesarean section rates over patient safety concerns.

In a letter to trust medical directors and maternity units, NHS England and NHS Improvement said hospitals should no longer use “total caesarean section rates as a means of performance management” because it may lead to targets being pursued that “may be clinically inappropriate or unsafe in individual cases.”

The advice comes after a report from the Health and Social Care Select Committee into the safety of maternity services, published in July 2021, recommended an immediate end to the …

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