Information for clinicians – Third and Fourth Degree Perineal Tears Clinical Care Standard

Information about the Third and Fourth Degree Perineal Tears Clinical Care Standard and resources for clinicians.

What do clinicians need to know? 

The Third and Fourth Degree Perineal Tears Clinical Care Standard provides guidance to clinicians to support high-quality, evidence-based care. It also provides information to guide discussions between clinicians and women about third and fourth degree perineal tears, in order to support shared decision making and informed consent.

Quality statements

Resources for clinicians - information and videos

A number of resources have been developed to support the Third and Fourth Degree Perineal Tears Clinical Care Standard.

Resources designed specifically for clinicians are available below.

Webcast launch – video recording

The Commission hosted a webcast to launch the standard on 21 April 2021.

The launch and panel discussion hosted by Professor Anne Duggan, Acting Chief Medical Officer, provides an overview of the new standard, and discusses some of the evidence driving the need for change.  

Expert panellists include obstetrician Associate Professor Emmanuel Karantanis, midwifery expert Professor Hannah Dahlen, physiotherapist Natalie McConochie, and Janelle Gullan, a woman who experienced a third-degree perineal tear. 

Talking about Tears - a video for clinicians

Midwifery and obstetrics experts, and women with experience of perineal tears discuss how to talk about perineal tears - and why it is so important to do so.

Information resources for women

A number of resources have also been developed specifically for women. They can also be used by clinicians when discussing perineal tears with women. 

Third and fourth degree tears during labour and birth – a video for women