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To be pissed off about the politically spun report saying it's more dangerous to give birth at a weekend?

(51 Posts)
WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 25-Nov-15 09:24:19

The stats in the report are woefully lacking in any robustness.

For a start the numbers spoken about are too small to be of statistical significance. Secondly they've taken Tuesday to be the weekday by which the weekend figures are compared to......overlooking the fact that for some stuff they look at actually Thursday is the most dangerous day. They haven't taken into account lots of variables such as birth weight which could affect the perineal trauma stats.

Then the Health spokesperson says this demonstrates weekend staffing levels aren't good enough. The study never looked at staffing levels,,,,,so how can they say that? Every labour ward ive worked on has the same number of staff at a weekend as during the week!

This could put people at risk. A woman is worried her waters have gone on a Sunday may decide to wait till Monday before ringing the hospital as she thinks it's too dangerous to go in at a weekend!

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Wed 25-Nov-15 09:25:57

You can see from this that a Thursday is actually the day where there's the highest mortality rates! Even then it's not statistically significant.

Ive got to go to work but will come back to this later.

PausingFlatly Wed 25-Nov-15 09:28:08

Can you give me the source of that data, and I'll see what I can do?

balletgirlmum Wed 25-Nov-15 09:29:23

Just heard this on the radio news & my first thought was this is going to be so awful for someone who has suffered a stillbirth etc at a weekend to hear.

So NOT helpful.

Pointlessfan Wed 25-Nov-15 09:33:00

It annoyed me too. I was on the maternity ward for ages when DD was born and the staffing levels and care seemed exactly the same on weekends as on week days. I agree it might create dangerous situations where women wait until Monday to go in.

Twitterqueen Wed 25-Nov-15 09:37:46

But it's true that there are fewer (no?) consultants around at weekends. I had 2 of my DCs on Saturdays. Both of them needed consultant care - nothing serious, but long-term consequences, bone-related. There were no consultants available so I had to stay in hospital until Monday/Tuesday.

What if either of them had had serious health issues?

MushroomMama Wed 25-Nov-15 09:42:19

Both my dcs were born on the weekend and late at night. I received excellent care both times. I swear mirror and the sun should be banned they breach so many ipso clauses!

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 25-Nov-15 09:44:27

DS was born late on a Friday evening. There was an obvious difference in staffing levels and standards of care between the weekend and the Monday.
And yes it's possible they had a lot of weekend staff off sick but it's also possible their rota system was inadequate.

I don't think any woman would dangerously delay going into hospital on the strength of this article but I do think uneven provision of care is an issue that should be raised, discussed and addressed.

PausingFlatly Wed 25-Nov-15 09:47:25

Not to worry, I've found the original report:

randomsabreuse Wed 25-Nov-15 09:51:35

I reckon I had better care at a weekend - once I got to consultant led. The fact I had a ventouse and stitches was me running out of contraction before I could get relatively small DD round the corner. When we got to the ventouse point there were about 14 people in the room - including paediatrician etc.

The issue with maternity is that it is totally unpredictable how many births will happen on any given day!

x2boys Wed 25-Nov-15 09:52:01

ds1 was born on boxing day i was in labour all day xmas day admittedly it was a traumatic birth but that was nothing to do with the care i received and there certainly wasnt a lack of staff.

antimatter Wed 25-Nov-15 09:56:11

This was 18 years ago so not relevant but my dd I was delivered by CC by a senior registrar after unsuccessful attempt at forceps delivery. She said consultant was unavailable.
Not sure if anything would have been done differently but over all that delivery for me was very traumatic.

antimatter Wed 25-Nov-15 09:56:41

DD was born on Tuesday night.

mammmamia Wed 25-Nov-15 10:01:45

These headlines really wound me up as well - scaremongering and irresponsible.
It's political spin, reported sensationally.

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 25-Nov-15 10:03:27

Pausing thanks for the original report link. It doesn't seem like a small study (they used data from 2010 to 2012) and it also concurs with the findings of previous studies.

rumbelina Wed 25-Nov-15 10:07:32


Chchchchangeabout Wed 25-Nov-15 10:15:50

YABU. The report does show some clearly statistically significant factors. Imperial College is a leading international and politically independent research institution, and the write up identifies some factors that are and some that aren't statistically significant.

The way the results are reportedmay of course be slanted to support preconceived points of view. As you have shown in your OP.

Shakey15000 Wed 25-Nov-15 10:16:50

Well in my experience, there are fewer staff at weekends. I had ventouse delivery with 4th degree tear, no experienced consultant available for theatre so they had to call one in. He whinged it was the weekend (don't think he knew I could hear him). I know that isn't directly related to the article but just to comment on staffing levels.

spanisharmada Wed 25-Nov-15 10:17:11

DD1 was born at the weekend right before xmas, I was very poorly with pre-eclampsia and they had to deliver her early by cs due to concerns that me and her were deteriorating. We had a consult deal with us over the weekend because it was an emergency and couldn't wait until monday. I don't think our care could have been any better.

Chchchchangeabout Wed 25-Nov-15 10:22:20

Friend's baby nearly didn't make it during a weekend birth due to registrar being unwilling to disturb senior consultant who was 'on call' late on a weekend night. Only reason baby made it was midwife insisting the call was made due to baby clearly in distress. Senior consultant immediately made the call to get the baby out right then - fortunately. The registrar also made some other highly questionable decisions which led to later complications.

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 25-Nov-15 10:23:50

I don't know a single midwife who would disagree that they are woefully under-staffed, that staff and equipment shortages make their jobs incredibly difficult and that it impacts on the standard of care.
The reporting may suit the government's agenda but that doesn't mean the original study should be disparaged.

Chchchchangeabout Wed 25-Nov-15 10:24:14

Shakey - maternal tears are one factor the survey finds to be linked to level of consultant care.

Tfoot75 Wed 25-Nov-15 10:25:03

My Dd was born on a Sunday, I had a third degree tear that was repaired in the operating theatre - by a senior consultant.

Lancelottie Wed 25-Nov-15 10:27:08

It's a study of over a million births, so I think the numbers should be pretty robust.

Chchchchangeabout Wed 25-Nov-15 10:30:02

How do you know care for birth related emergencies or complications is inadequate if you don't experience them though? Friend mentioned above had no idea about all this until she went to birth debriefing before having number 2. She was a bit distracted at the time of her first birth, what with trying to give birth and stuff.

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