Saturday, May 12, 2012

If you don’t reach targets, collect your P45

I've just read this article in The Scotsman this morning, and while I have no evidence that this has happened with cesarean rate targets in Scotland, I do think that it's an important article to read in order to see how medical professionals can end up swayed by "an aggressively target-driven culture", and give advice that is not necessarily in the best interests of mothers and babies.

In our book, we highlight the example of a British doctor who apologises for trying to force a woman to have a natural birth, solely because of target rates (a midwife and GP intervened and he allowed a cesarean).

One member of NHS staff here says,Those of us with mortgages and career aspiration had better be afraid. If you don’t reach your targets, you can collect your P45”; in the context of maternal request cesareans, I have personally been told by doctors that they do not want to risk sticking their head above the parapet in their workplace.

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