‘Temporary staffing issues’ meant Croydon Health Services NHS Trust was one of just five in the country not included in a report on caesareans.  Birthrights, an organisation that aims to improve women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth published a report on August 21. It found some NHS trusts across the country do not offer maternal request caesareans. Chief Executive of Birthrights, Rebecca Schiller said: “Maternal request caesareans are the the number one reason women contact the Birthrights advice service. “The women we support have endured previously traumatic births, mental ill-health, childhood sexual abuse or have carefully examined the evidence available and made informed decisions that planned caesareans will give them and their baby the best chance of an emotionally and physically healthy start.” When contacted, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust confirmed that women in the borough are able to request a caesarean. But if the reason is based on anxiety the mum-to-be would first be referred to a mental health expert to see whether a vaginal birth could be an option. A spokesman for the trust said: “Women who request a caesarean section when there is no medical indication for the procedure should be informed of the risks and benefits of caesarean section versus vaginal delivery. “If their reason for request is based on anxiety they should be offered a referral to a healthcare professional with expertise in providing perinatal mental health support to help her address her anxiety and provide appropriate advice and support. “If after discussion and offer of support a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option, offer a planned caesarean section. “Once a decision for elective caesarean section has been made, an explanation of the procedure; the risks, benefits and implications for future pregnancies should be given. Women are given the caesarean section information leaflet.” But the trust was one of just five in the country not to provide a response to Birthrights and therefore was not included in the report. The spokesman added: “We take our responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act seriously, so always endeavour to respond as soon as possible and within the time limit of 20 working days. “Unfortunately for this particular FOI we exceeded that limit due to some temporary staffing issues which are now resolved.”