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The true relative financial cost of Planned Caesarean Birth (PCB) versus Planned Vaginal Birth (PVB) in England for the year 2018/19 taking into account litigation and compensation for harm: a sensitivity analysis.
  • Jonathan West,
  • Myles Taylor,
  • Michael Magro
Jonathan West

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Myles Taylor
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
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Michael Magro
Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the true financial costs of Planned Caesarean Section and Planned Vaginal Birth in England for the year 2018/19 after accounting for litigation and compensation for harm (LCFH) DESIGN: Sensitivity analysis BACKGROUND: Average base costs per delivery remitted to NHS maternity providers for Planned Caesarean Birth (PCB) and Planned Vaginal Birth (PVB) in 2018/19 were £3,948 and £3,270 respectively leading to a perception that PCB is more costly than PVB. Indemnity costs potentially related to planned mode of delivery, however, add an average of £1,571/delivery to overall costs. METHOD: Retrospective analysis of costs according to planned mode of birth was performed based on data and previous research published by NHS Resolution and NHS England. Weighting of results according to PCB and PVB rates was performed in a manner similar to the sensitivity analysis of PCB v PVB (without accounting for LCFH) performed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2011 RESULTS: Additional costs of LCFH resulted in revised costs of £4,245 and £5,030 for PCB and PVB respectively – a cost advantage of £785 per delivery in favour of PCB. CONCLUSION: Providers should not be discouraged from offering or women refused PCB on grounds of cost.