Eleanor Giblin and Emma-Jayne Rudland explore the NHS policy to limit access to caesarean sections

NHS Trusts have been publicly applauded for low rates of caesarean sections, with a higher rate of so called ‘normal’ births seen as an indicator of good care. In a shift of focus from this ideology, it has been announced the NHS in England will no longer limit the number of caesarean sections it performs. Will we now see the principles in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11put into practice in maternity care?

The drive towards ‘normal’ birth

According to NHS figures, around one in four births are currently via caesarean section. This includes both elective caesarean sections planned in advance, as well as emergency procedures.

In 2012, trusts were encouraged...

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