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Comparing hospitals - why and how to access data

How much time did you spend researching your next mobile phone? Most of us spend hours, days or months researching the best mobile contract... or which flat screen TV to buy... we read reviews. We compare brands. We look at stats. Why? Because we don't want to make the wrong decision!


So why do we do ZERO prep and research when deciding on birth place and care provider? How many people look up their hospital's birth statistics? Who compares rates of inductions, instrumental births, postpartum haemorrhage or emergency caesareans? It doesn't make sense! You make the wrong decision with your mobile phone contract and you may regret it for 12 months... don't do any research on where to give birth and it could possibly lead to life long impact on your physical and mental health, or your child's.


So what's the excuse? Because it's all available data! The NHS Maternity Dashboard provides statistics on your local NHS trust and hospital. If you had a choice between a hospital with a forceps rate of 11% vs 20%, which one would you choose? Or an induction rate of 24% vs 45%?


Not all hospitals are equal...


The dashboard allows you to compare hospital with hospital, accessing statistics including number of elective and emergency caesareans, instrumental births, spontaneous vaginal births and more by month. You can also access data on serious tears, breastfeeding rates, service user satisfaction scores and responsiveness to complaints.


Scotland, Ireland and Wales have similar dashboards although differ in format and functionality.




Invest time in to researching where to give birth (as well as questioning and researching whether hospital is indeed the best option in the first place! Because it's very safe) and compare trusts before making a decision.


How does your local hospital stand up against others in the UK?

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