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Midwife toolkit reduces number of caesarean births

A toolkit designed to reduce the number of Caesarean sections performed in the NHS has achieved double the target reduction at one trust.

The number of C-sections has increased significantly nationally over the last decade, leading the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to develop a toolkit to help midwives reduce these numbers.

This toolkit, which has been introduced at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, saw a 4% reduction in their number of c-sections over the last 18 months.

In 2007, 24% of births were by c-section. In 2008 this dropped to 20%, with just 16% of births by C-section in November.

The toolkit focuses on providing midwife-led, rather than medically-led care for pregnant women who had a C-section previously.

‘There are lots of benefits to a normal birth, so where it is safe to do so we would advise this for women if their previous C-section was uncomplicated,’ said Helen Barnes, the consultant midwife trainee who helped set up the project in Southampton.

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