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Women's choice is key to new Portsmouth and Southampton project

14 January, 2010

Women's choice is key to new Portsmouth and Southampton project

Increasing births outside traditional wards and finding out more about women's choice of birth location are the goals of an innovative new project in Portsmouth and Southampton.

Midwives magazine: August 2003


Increasing births outside traditional wards and finding out more about women's choice of birth location are the goals of an innovative new project in Portsmouth and Southampton.

Jane Rogers, consultant midwife and Birth Place Choices (BCP) project lead said: 'The core philosophy is that for women to make a choice that is right for them, they need to know about the options available and feel supported by skilled and confident professionals whom they trust.

'It is anticipated that the BCP project, by increasing opportunities for women to give birth in midwifery-led birthing cent res and at home, will make choice a reality.'

The BCP project has been initiated as part of the government's Configuring Hospitals Initiative, and is due to report in Spring 2005.

Phase one involves talking to local women and health professionals about birthplace choices, while phase two will use this information to make changes to the maternity services.

It is anticipated that the project will need to initiate changes in practice and service delivery at both strategy and operational levels, involving midwives, GPs, maternity service users, obstetricians and other relevant professional groups.

Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the RCM said: 'Anything that aims to give women more choice as to where they give birth and increases the opportunity for normal, healthy women to benefit from midwife-led care, with all the knock on benefits this has, can only be a good thing.

'The RCM awaits the outcome of the research eagerly, and hopes that it will lead to greater choice for women throughout the UK in the near future.'

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