Maternity services across North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust are taking part in a research study to help understand the outcomes between offering the first part of the induction of labour process at home or at hospital.

The study will use routinely collected patient data to compare the differences between outcomes and experiences of women who have the procedure at home or in a hospital.

Historically this always happened in hospital but now around half are offered from home as it can take some time for the procedure to work.

This may reduce the length of time women spend in hospitals, reduce demands on busy maternity units and may be preferred by women.

Rachel Hardy, Research Midwife, said:

“Using real life data in research is invaluable in how we develop patient care and our services for women. It allows us to understand what safe, effective practice is and continue to adapt in an ever-moving world.

“Risks and benefits of having the first part of the induction of labour process at home are not yet fully understood, and our study aims to see if it is as safe as it is in a hospital setting, acceptable to women and their partners, and cost effective for the NHS.”

Research will be done using de-identifiable data (meaning there is no way of a person being personally recognised) that is routinely collected by our midwives. However if an expectant mother would prefer for their data not to be included then they are able to opt-out by letting their midwife know.

Rachel added: “We will be running a second, smaller study called qCHOICE whereby we will invite women who are booked to have an induction of labour to answer some questions about their experience.”

Women will be contacted through the BadgerNet Maternity Portal with more information and to ask if they would like to complete a questionnaire and an optional interview.

If you do not wish your data to be included in the study, you can inform your midwife. If you would prefer not to discuss this with your midwife, you can contact the local study lead who can arrange this for you. Your local study lead is Rachel Hardy:

The research study is called CHOICE (Cervical Ripening at Home or In-Hospital – prospective cohort study and process evaluation).

If you have questions or would like more information about the research project, please contact or visit the website:

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