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Survey of Women’s Views of Induction of Labour at Two Maternity Trusts in the West Midlands

Leads: Prof Sara Kenyon, Ms Fiona Cross-Sudworth (Maternity), Dr Laura Quinn (Meths)

Throughout the project, the team are working in partnership with public contributors linked to ARC WM’s Maternity Theme.

Dates: February 2021 - July 2021


The numbers of women undergoing induction of labour (IOL) at term is steadily increasing with current estimates suggesting that overall 33% of women in England underwent induction of labour in 2019 to 2020 from 20% of all births in 2007 to 2008. The rate for nulliparous women is as high as 36%. Induction is undertaken for a variety of reasons, the most common being post maturity and following pre-labour rupture of the membranes at term. Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC) is one of two stand-alone Maternity Units in the UK, consisting of an obstetric unit and an alongside birth centre with around 8,300 births there each year. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) have around 9,000 births per annum across three units, comprising two obstetric units, a stand-alone birth centre and two alongside birth centres. The two Trusts make up a Local Maternity System (LMS) called Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Neonatal Partnership (BUMP, which have more than 17,300 babies born there with the likelihood for these numbers to increase in the upcoming years. Both Trusts are undertaking quality improvement work around induction of labour. Public contributors linked to ARC WM's Maternity theme highlighted the importance of understanding women's perspectives. We will undertake a survey of women’s views of induction to support quality improvement around induction of labour and inform further work we intend to undertake in the future. The questionnaire was informed by data from a systematic review recently published. [Coates R, et al. Midwifery. 2019; 69: 17-28.]

Policy and Practice Partners:

Local Maternity System (LMS) called Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Neonatal Partnership (BUMP), as described above.

Co-Funding Partners:

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust.

Aims and Objectives:

To explore women’s experiences of induction of labour:

  • Administration of a postal questionnaire to women whose labours have been induced during an 8 week period in spring 2021.
  • The questionnaire will be sent by each maternity unit and will contain a unique ID number that will enable an individual report for each Trust to be provided.
  • Within the questionnaire we ask for maternal age, parity, ethnicity, analgesic use and mode of birth which will enable us to explore any variation in experiences for women based on these characteristics.


A cross-sectional study using postal questionnaires containing both open and closed questions and the opportunity for women to describe their experiences of induction of labour across two Trusts.

Main Results:

Survey completed and publication currently being drafted.



Implications for Implementation:

This will inform implementation of local service improvements and inform other work we are planning in this area.