NICE, caesarian sections and the weekend press

In May 2011 NICE published draft guidance on caesarian sections which were not medically necessary. The guidance they have drafted is cut and pasted below.

Over the weekend there was extensive coverage of the guidance. Here is the Daily Mail, Channel 4 News, The Sun, and the Independent; there was also a Press Association notice.

It all seems rather odd. It has been presented in the main as new news, but I don’t think it is.

In fact, the NICE press office say that no journalists contacted them in the last week or so about this story. The final guidance is not due out until the end of November and the draft guidance has been out for ages.

So why is this old news being presented as new news?

NICE draft guidance from May 2011
"Maternal request for CS
34 When a woman requests a CS explore, discuss and record the
specific reasons for the request. [new 2011]
35 If a woman requests a CS without a clinical indication, discuss the
overall risks  and benefits  of CS compared with vaginal birth (see
tables 4.3 and 4.4) and record that this discussion has taken place.
Include a discussion with  other  members of the obstetric team
(including the obstetrician, midwife and anaesthetist) if necessary to
explore the reasons for the request, and to ensure the woman has
accurate information. [new 2011]
36 When a woman requests a CS because she has a fear of childbirth,
offer referral to a healthcare professional with expertise in providing
perinatal mental health support to help her address her fears in a
supportive manner. [new 2011]
37 Ensure the healthcare professional providing perinatal mental
health support has access to the planned place of birth in order to
provide care. [new 2011]
38 If after providing support, a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable
option to the woman, offer a planned CS. [new 2011]
39 An obstetrician has the right to decline a woman’s request for a CS.
If this happens, they should refer the woman to an obstetrician who
will carry out the CS. [new 2011]"
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