The report ‘Making Sense of Commissioning Maternity Services in England – some issues for Clinical Commissioning Groups to consider' has caused controversy for appearing to advocate that women opt out of pain relief during labour.
It puts GPs at the heart of a number of suggested changes to maternity services as a pivotal first port of call for most pregnant women. It says CCGs and GPs should work to advise women to have a ‘normal' childbirth to reduce the costs of maternity services, including opting out of epidurals and giving birth at home where possible.
Produced in collaboration between the RCOG, Royal College of Midwifes and parenting charity NCT, the RCOG has since removed the report from its website amid the feisty debate and is intending to have it reviewed by senior management. It is still available on the Royal College of Widwifes' website.