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This study forms part of an on-going audit into induction of labour using prostaglandin E2 vaginal gel at a district general hospital. It looks at the effect of changing the time of first insertion of the gel from 2200 h to 1400 h in 80 primiparous women between 37 and 42 completed weeks' gestation, booked for induction of labour. Significant reductions in total cost of admission and length of hospital stay were associated with induction at 1400 h, and a trend to shorter time from induction to rupture of membranes and lower Caesarean section rate was also noted. Larger studies are needed.