Chairman of NHS Alliance apologises for mis-use of WHO target figure

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) OLD caesarean target rate of 15% (retracted 2 years ago) is unfortunately still in circulation and now being used to explain the decision by some PCTs to ban maternal request caeseareans.

I contacted Dr Michael Dixon, Chairman on the NHS Alliance, after he used this figure on a BBC Tees interview with Ali Brownlee and I received this reply. “Very many thanks for your note about the WHO target rate.  I stand corrected and wont use the 15% figure again.”

Thank you Dr Dixon.

Unfortunately this figure is still being used by other professionals and the media to justify policy and inflame the debate that caesarean rates are simply too high. WHO admitted that there is “no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage” and world regions may now “set their own standards”. England has decided that they should not set a formal caesarean target rate.

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