Midwives win Chairman's Choice award

Thursday 3 December 2015

Womens health safety programme pic

A midwife-led project to reduce the number of avoidable injuries suffered by women in childbirth has won a prestigious patient safety award.

Consultant midwife Julie Frohlich was presented with the innovation grant at the third annual Innovation Grants and Recognition Awards, organised jointly by the Health Innovation Network and Health Education South London, on Monday 30 November.

The PEACHES project to reduce avoidable obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIs) – commonly known as 3rd and 4th degree tears – also won a Chairman’s Choice award.

The grant will fund the development of a training video for staff, supported by face-to-face training sessions, which will drive and embed the use of techniques to reduce the risk of 3rd and 4th degree tears during birth.

There has been a three-fold rise in these injuries in the past 10 years that is believed to be partly due to changes in clinical practice. In Norway, the introduction of similar training has helped to reverse this trend.

Professor Richard Barker, Chair of the Health Innovation Network, said: “This programme, which is based on best practice developed in Norway, is a practical and clearly very promising approach to addressing a major, hidden problem of real importance to women.

“By developing a valuable training resource, and working with other NHS trusts, this work has great potential to be rapidly scaled up across a wide area.”

PEACHES stands for:


Extra midwife (present at birth)

Assess the perineum (throughout)


Hands-on technique

Episiotomy if required


Last updated: December 2015

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