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The study compared two schemes of booking for antenatal care: booking at a health centre by general practitioners in conjunction with a hospital consultant or booking in a hospital clinic by hospital staff. the health centre scheme reduced the proportion of women booking late at 16 or more weeks gestation from 44% to 11% and at 20 weeks or more from 28% to 6%. There was no improvement in delay in booking owing to late confirmation of pregnancy. The benefits of this scheme were due to improved attendance and reduced delays in booking among women who confirmed pregnancy before 16 weeks gestation.