More babies should be born at home or in midwife clinics, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said.
The organisation has called for the creation of more midwifery-led units, to allow women with low-risk pregnancies to give birth in places other than hospitals.
In a letter to The Times, Dr Anthony Falconer, president of the RCOG and five other leading health experts said that women who have uncomplicated pregnancies should give birth outside hospital settings.
He said: "This will mean more midwifery-led units and fewer consultant units so that the most specialist care can be concentrated around the clock.
"This must be done using a co-ordinated approach that combines national leadership, political courage and a thorough assessment of women's needs."
He went on to say that "The use of some of these midwife-led units is not as great as it should be" and that they were "very safe and appropriate to have babies."
Posted by Robert Mair on 14.7.11 Send your comments on this article to: firstname.lastname@example.org