Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

A multi-centre quality improvement project to reduce incidence of obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI)

An OASI is an injury to the anal sphincter muscle sustained during childbirth. This can result in medical complications including anal incontinence and psychological problems.

Over the past 10 years OASI rates have risen by over 4%, to 5.9% in the UK. Possible reasons for this include inconsistent training, skills and prevention, lack of awareness of risk factors and variation in practice amongst healthcare professionals.

This project aims to address this by introducing a package of interventions in 16 maternity units across the UK. This package includes a care bundle and guide, a multidisciplinary skills development module for healthcare professionals and campaign materials to raise awareness.

Engagement from local champions as well as public and patient involvement, with continuous monitoring and feedback, will help ensure interventions are acceptable to both women and healthcare professionals.

The project aims to reduce overall OASI injury rates by increasing the use of standardised prevention practices.

This project is a collaboration between the RCOG, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Find out more about the OASI Care Bundle Quality Improvement project here.


Find out more about the project