Once a woman is in labour, she is entitled to the very best of maternity care and in most cases, the National Health Services (NHS) provides this HOW?.
Unfortunately, there is a real shortage of midwives in the NHS in England at the moment and so sometimes labour and delivery wards can be very over stretched. This is one more reason why it is essential for pregnant women to know their rights.
Pain relief should be administered ONLY by request and once a woman is in established labour. Medical staff must give mothers ALL details of the RECOMMENDED pain relief should be it be necessary. Pain relief should not be given without consent. If a woman is unable to give consent at the time of an emergency, consent will sought from her next of kin. If a woman is given medication without medical consent, this is a breach of NICE guidelines and the woman has full rights to file a formal complaint which may bring a series of consequences against the medical staff and hospital.
For more information on your rights while in labour, read the Guidelines for Medical Professionals (UK version) to see your rights regarding induction, pain medication, home birth, VBAC and elective cesareans.
Women are entitled to a hospital bed in a private room and a bed on the post natal ward once the baby is born. Private rooms are available but must be paid for.
Find out more information on your rights:
- The official NHS site (http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx)
- The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS: http://www.aims.org.uk/)
- NICE (http://www.nice.org.uk/) .