In 1983 a quarter of general practitioners in the Northern region of England cared for obstetric deliveries and half of these for a minimum of 10 deliveries a year. Most expected their intranatal work to remain at the same level or increase in the next 10 years. Most participating general practitioners did their own forceps deliveries and initiated inductions. Most out of hours deliveries were attended by the mother's own general practitioner or a partner. A quarter of all respondents had cared for planned and unplanned home births. Few were happy about attending them, but most would provide planned home care if urged to do so.