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Caesarean Sections

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health has been working with the Health Development Agency to improve the information on caesarean sections in their Pregnancy Book which is distributed free to all first time mothers. Since September 1999, the book includes detailed information on caesarean sections and women are encouraged to ask questions. The text of this book is also available on the website: http//

In addition, the department has taken steps to strengthen local audit processes by publishing figures for caesarean section rates by individual National Health Service trusts. This assists women in providing accurate up-to-date information on which to base their maternity choices.

The Government are concerned about the rising rates of caesarean sections and big variations between trusts, as well as the high rates in some hospitals. We have an active programme of work in hand to address the variations and the reasons for the overall rise.

The National Sentinal Caesarean Section Audit is a Department of Health initiative currently being undertaken by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This is a multi-disciplinary audit

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involving the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Anaesthetist and user representatives. Last autumn (November 2000) the department asked the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to develop clinical guidelines based on the findings of this audit. This should even out variations around the country and help women make more informed choices.

Haemophilia Patients

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent meetings health Ministers have had with the haemophilia community to discuss their concerns; and whether there is any action they will be taking as a result of these meetings.[HL501]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: On 24 January I met the Haemophilia Society, the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation and the Royal College of Nursing Haemophilia Nurses Association to discuss the case for extending the provision of recombinant clotting factors to all haemophilia patients in England. We are currently giving careful consideration to this issue.

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