Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Birthrights and BPAS ask Government to publish pain relief inquiry

“It is … critical that the report is made publicly available, so that all organisations working in the sector can learn from it and work to address the underlying causes”

Today Birthrights and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) wrote to the Health Minister, Nadine Dorries, asking the Government to publish their inquiry into pain relief, following this article in the Guardian on 3rd March.

The full letter is available here.

4 thoughts on “Birthrights and BPAS ask Government to publish pain relief inquiry”

  1. I would also be interested to understand what is happening on induction wards. I was refused an epidural and transfer to labour ward because I wouldn’t consent to a vaginal exam. I had been on the induction ward for over 48 hrs, 36 of which I had painful and intense contractions but not at regular enough intervals. I was treated as if my pain didn’t exist or couldn’t be that bad because I wasn’t considered to be in established labour. Consequently I chose to have an elective c section so I knew the pain would end at some point, not before I had endured a further 12+ hours of it though. Given the rate of induction I feel it is morally and ethically wrong to recommend a women forces her body into labour and then to not give access to a full range of pain relief or optimum conditions for labour to progress. I listened to two women clearly in established labour who were held on the induction ward because labour ward was too busy. One woman’s waters went and the panic in the midwives voices as they got her onto a trolley to get her down to labour ward i will never forget.

    • Hi Louise Thank you for your comment. Vaginal exams are normally recommended during induction to ensure that the induced contractions are opening the cervix but you always have the right to decline them, and declining a VE is not a reason for pain relief to be withheld. If you would like any further advice or help with making a complaint please contact us on advice@birthrights.org.uk

  2. I’m curious whether you ever received a response regarding this? I can’t seem to find the report from the inquiry online – was it ever published?

    • Hi Rebecca,

      As far as I’ve researched, Birthrights never received a response. I will look into this further and will contact you if there is an update. Many thanks Sydney (team coordinator).


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