North West Region

Cost-Cutting Behind NICE Advice

Cost-Cutting Behind NICE Advice

Dear Editor,

Whilst I welcome a the suggestion by NICE that expectant mothers should be given more choice as to whether to opt for a home birth led by experienced midwives, I do suspect that this is driven by a desire to cut costs, not to extend care.

In most circumstances, mothers expecting their second child after a healthy first pregnancy, are less likely to run into complications during labour and some do opt for home births. A home birth offers many women more comfort and privacy than hospital wards and midwives are on hand to delivery necessary pain relief and care.

However, many women would still prefer the reassurance of giving birth in hospital where they know doctors are on hand if an emergency was to arise. With 15 in every 100 births requiring an emergency caesarean, a procedure that cannot be performed by a midwife at home, it is clear to see why most mothers give birth in a hospital ward.

At the end of the day, so long as there is no significant risk to the unborn child, mothers should be free to choose where they give birth. I do worry however that following these recommendations by NICE, we could see mothers being coerced into a home birth on the grounds that it is cheaper, when a hospital birth is preferred. Home birth should be a choice by expectant mothers, not a means of cutting hospital costs.

Yours faithfully

Paul Nuttall

One comment

  1. Beverley Stein /

    You are right to be guarded Paul about the home birth shift.
    If things go horridly wrong then a brain damaged child could so easily result with home births. No two mums are alike. Fact!

    Best

    Bev 🙂

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