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In 1992 the House of Commons Health Committee's report on the maternity services recommended that all hospitals should provide women with "the option of a birthing pool where this is practicable." The lack of relevant research on labour and birth in water prompted the Department of Health to fund this survey.
Methods and results
All 219 identified heads of midwifery, or equivalent, in NHS provider units in England and Wales were sent a short postal questionnaire in October 1993. All questionnaires were returned, and telephone interviews were subsequently carried out with a nominated respondent from each provider unit. Three units were omitted in error as a result of the difficulty of identifying these units at a time of organisational change in the NHS.
Labour or …