HC Deb 26 February 1999 vol 326 c464W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) in how many health authorities in Wales, and in which ones, the rate of caesarean section exceeds the World Health Organisation recommended rate; [72535]

(2) how many caesarean sections took place in Wales in each of the last five years; and what they were in each year as a percentage of all deliveries. [72536]

Mr. Jon Owen Jones

The following table shows the number of caesarean sections performed in NHS hospitals in Wales in each of the last five years for which data are available. Two percentage figures are shown: (a) as a percentage of births which took place in those hospitals which perform caesareans (home births, births to Welsh residents outside Wales and births at other hospitals where caesareans are not undertaken are not included in the denominator) and (b) as a percentage of all live births to residents of Wales (some of which may have taken place outside Wales).

Year Number of caesarean sections (a) (b)
1993 5,508 16.0 15.1
1994 5,591 16.6 15.8
1995 5,601 17.1 16.2
1996 6,062 18.1 17.4
1997 6,239 18.9 18.1


All Wales Perinatal Survey and Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy

Office for National Statistics (live births to residents of Wales)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not make specific recommendations about rates of caesarean delivery which will inevitably vary from place to place and will reflect health, nutritional status of pregnant women and the level of maternity care provision. Following the transfer of functions, this issue will be a matter for the National Assembly.