§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue guidance clarifying whether a mother has a right to a water birth.
§ Mr. Sackville
District health authorities as purchasers and hospitals as providers should seek the views of women in determining arrangements for maternity care, including the birth itself. The Expert Maternity Group's report, "Changing Childbirth", calls on the national health service to provide a service which is as responsible as possible to the needs of women.
Circular EL(94)9 already sets out action required by the NHS to implement the recommendations of the expert maternity group within the next five years.
Copies of "Changing Childbirth" and circular EL(94)9 are available in the Library.