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About the Maternity Services Data Set

The Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) is a patient-level data set that captures information about activity carried out by Maternity Services relating to a mother and baby(s), from the point of the first booking appointment until mother and baby(s) are discharged from maternity services. 


As a secondary uses data set MSDS re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct patient care. It defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets extracted or derived from local information systems and sent to NHS Digital for analysis purposes.

MSDS sets out national definitions for the extraction of data including:  

  • mother’s details
  • mother’s booking, pregnancy and diagnosis details
  • care contacts and activities
  • mother’s labour and activity details
  • anonymous assessments and findings
  • baby’s details
  • hospital provider spells (inpatient stays in hospital during the pregnancy)
  • header and reference data. 

MSDS v2.0 is an update to the data set that introduces a new structure and content, including clinical terminology. It also mandates the submission of all maternity records in scope of the data set, including records that are held on paper which must be submitted in the required electronic format.

How the MSDS is used

The MSDS information captured from NHS-funded maternity services, provides reliable information for:

  • local and national monitoring
  • reporting for effective commissioning
  • monitoring outcomes
  • addressing health inequalities

Other tasks

Contact the NHS Digital Enquiries team on 0300 303 5678  or email [email protected] to raise a general MSDS enquiry.

Understand more about how we look after your health and care information

Feedback and how to suggest changes

We are not planning to make further changes to MSDS in the foreseeable future as we recognise the MSDS v2.0 was a significant change. We are always happy to receive feedback and requests for changes, these will be recorded and evaluated on a case by case basis for inclusion in the future version of the data set. These should be emailed to NHS Digital enquiries team making clear reference to MSDS v2.0. 

Information updates

Last edited: 27 April 2023 4:36 pm