Multiprofessional ‘fire-drill’ training in the labour ward


Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK Email:


  • • Regular multiprofessional rehearsals of the management of obstetric emergencies have been recommended since 1997.
  • • In-house training is cheap and associated with improved outcomes.
  • • Teamwork failure is associated with poor obstetric outcome but aviation-based team training is not a panacea: we may need to develop and evaluate obstetric-specific interventions.

Learning objectives:

  • • To comprehend the importance of rehearsals in the labour ward.
  • • To understand the components of successful ‘fire-drills’.

Ethical issues:

  • • Excessive focusing on the processes of training can lead to neglect of teamworking and prevent sustainable differences in outcomes.
  • • Entrenched negative attitudes to risk management processes can reduce the impact of training.

Please cite this article as: Siassakos D, Crofts J, Winter C, Draycott T. Multiprofessional ‘fire-drill’ training in the labour ward. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2009;11:55–60.