NMPA report highlights key findings and recommendations
The latest report from the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) presents findings on care and outcomes from births in NHS maternity services between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 in England and Wales. The report captures 89% of eligible births and highlights areas of potential service improvement. Key findings include:
- One third of women with singleton pregnancies at term underwent an induction of labour.
Of those experiencing an instrumental birth by forceps, as many as one in 20 did so without an episiotomy. Of these, 31% experienced a third- or fourth-degree tear.
Of those opting for a vaginal birth after a previous caesarean birth, the proportion who went on to experience a vaginal birth was 61% (over 10 percentage points lower than that in national guidance, namely 72-75%).
Of those experiencing their first birth, 23% had an instrumental birth, 23% had an emergency caesarean, and 44% who had a vaginal birth had an episiotomy.
Around half of babies born small for gestational age were born after their due date. This is in contrast to national guidance recommending earlier induction be offered if there are concerns about a baby being small.
The report goes on to make a number of recommendations including a call to routinely counsel and offer an episiotomy prior to experiencing a forceps-assisted birth, to reduce the chance of an obstetric anal sphincter injury.
The 2022 NMPA Clinical report.