Released on: 06 July 2021

NCT has submitted its response to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) draft guidelines on induction of labour, which recommends that all women and birthing people should be offered induction at 41 weeks. 

NICE also recommends that groups at increased risk of complications (including Black, Asian and minority ethnic women, those aged 35 or over or with high BMI, or following assisted conception) should be offered induction at 39 weeks.

Sarah McMullen, Director of Impact and Engagement, NCT said: 

‘We share the concerns raised by many organisations and individuals about NICE’s draft recommendations on induction of labour. 

‘We believe in an evidence-based and person-centred approach to support women and birthing people to make informed decisions. However, the guidelines presume a level of discussion and autonomy that does not always exist in practice. 

‘We’re disappointed that these wide-reaching guidelines are based on such low quality evidence. In particular, the recommendation to offer induction to Black, Asian and minority ethnic women from 39 weeks of pregnancy is not a logical solution to a higher risk of adverse outcomes and disregards accounts of inequitable treatment as a contributory factor.

‘Implementing this recommendation in the absence of an holistic strategy to improve care and reduce disparity in outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women and birthing people risks further harm’.

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