National trends and hospital-level variation in caesarean section: evidence from Ireland and policy implications


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A Conference Organised by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Collaboration with the Centre for Human Reproduction, UCD and the Department of Sociology, TCD. The option of using caesarean section (CS) during childbirth has contributed significantly to the fall in perinatal and maternal mortality in the last half a century in Ireland. Increases in the use of CS have been particularly steep in the last two decades and there are now concerns that the benefits of CS may be outweighed by the increased clinical risks and higher costs relative to vaginal delivery. In Ireland the proportion of total births delivered by CS has increased from 7.4% in 1984 to 13% in 1993 to 29.8% by 2014. This half-day conference will hear and discuss recent research on the factors driving trends in CS in Ireland, variation in CS across maternity hospitals and the policy and practice implications of these.


09.00 Welcome and introduction: Dr Maura Hiney, Head of Policy, Evaluation and External Relations, Health Research Board
                                              Chair: Dr Maura Hiney  
09.15 National and International Caesarean Section Trends Professor Michael Turner, UCD Centre for Human Reproduction and Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital
09.45 Explaining Trends in Caesarean Section Rates in Ireland between 1999 and 2009 Professor Richard Layte, Trinity College Dublin and the Economic and Social Research Institute
10.15 Maternal Morbidity Following Caesarean Section: Initial Findings From The MAMMI Study
  Professor Cecily Begley, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin
10.45 Coffee Break
11.15 Irish Maternity Indicator System (IMIS) Dr Léan McMahon, HSE Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
11.45 The Relationship Between Models of Care in Irish Maternity Hospitals and CS Trends Dr Aoife Brick, Economic and Social Research Institute
12.15 Delivery after Caesarean Section Professor John Morrison, National University of Ireland, Galway and Galway University Hospital  
12.45 Conference Ends