C-sections 'twice as likely' in private care births

Pregnant women cared for privately are twice as likely to have a pre-planned Caesarean section than women who are on the NHS, new research has shown.

Women giving birth in private wards are twice as likely to have a pre-planned C-section, research found. Credit: PA

Just over one fifth, 21%, of women had a scheduled C-section compared to the 8.9% who had them on the NHS, leading to accusations some mothers are "too posh to push".

Research published in BMJ Open examined 30,000 women who gave birth at a hospital in Ireland which caters for both private and public-funded patients between 2008 and 2011.

For first-time mothers, 11.9% of private patients had pre-planned surgery compared to just 4.6% of those whose care was paid for by the public purse.