Protecting human rights in childbirth

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Oxford University Hospitals finally agree to offer maternal request caesareans

Birthrights are delighted to share that Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) will offer maternal request caesareans at the John Radcliffe hospital going forward.

Elizabeth Prochaska and Maria Booker from Birthrights met with Sir Jonathan Montgomery (Chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, OUH) and Professor Meghana Pandit (Chief Medical Officer, OUH) on the 22nd February 2021 following a number of discussions in 2020. OUH confirmed that they had been unable to come to a formal agreement with Gloucestershire about a referral pathway for individuals wanting a maternal request caesarean, and will therefore offer maternal request caesareans locally.  Women making this request will have the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of caesarean birth and vaginal birth with a consultant midwife and will also be encouraged to see a psychiatrist if appropriate (the offer of perinatal health support  does not have to be accepted). If women/birthing people still want a maternal request caesarean following these consultations with staff, they will be given one.

Birthrights welcomes this new development but remains keen to hear that this is being consistently implemented. If you would like to contact us about your experience of requesting a caesarean at OUH (or elsewhere, or about any instance of not being supported to make informed decisions and/or not having those decisions respected), please email us at advice@birthrights.org.uk

OUH also welcomes anyone who has concerns about implementation of this pathway to contact the maternity service via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service  at OUH (PALS@ouh.nhs.uk) so that all concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.

1 thought on “Oxford University Hospitals finally agree to offer maternal request caesareans”

  1. This is great news, at least I know there is a local (ish) alternative if I am denied an elcs at the RBH. I haven’t been able to find any up to date information on their policy but know they used to be an outright no. I’ll go anywhere and won’t be bullied into changing my mind.


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