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The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published new guidelines on labour ward management with the Royal College of Midwives. A key recommendation is that a consultant obstetrician should be present on the labour ward for 40 hours a week, to cover unexpected complications. The guidance argues this would cut the 600 deaths of normally formed, mature babies who die during labour each year.

Towards Safer Childbirth: minimum standards for the organisation of labour wards. RCOG bookshop, 0171-772 6276.£6.