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Maternity services team

The maternity services team works with data to help improve maternity services and care.

The Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) collects, analyses and reports data to achieve better outcomes for babies, children and mothers.

Information collected from the data set supports payments for maternity services and commissioning. The data set supports NHS England’s national maternity transformation programme.


Data is collected throughout pregnancy, from routine booking appointment activities to screening results during labour and after birth. This includes data from GP surgeries and hospitals.

Data collected in the MSDS includes:

  • routine booking appointment activities
  • maternity care plans
  • dating scans
  • antenatal screening tests
  • structural foetal anomaly screenings
  • labour and delivery
  • newborn screenings
  • maternal or neonatal death


Maternity data is submitted using XML format, through the submission portal on the Bureau Service Portal web page.

Data is fed from MSDS into the Data Services for Commissioners Regional Offices to inform commissioning support units that advise clinical commissioning groups around the commissioning of services. 

Analyse and interpret

We publish statistical reports on maternity services.

MSDS is grouped by hospital trust.

Maternity data is analysed by:

  • demographics – age, ethnic group
  • number of previous births
  • gestational age at booking
  • the presence of ‘complex social factors’
  • smoking status at booking
  • smoking status at delivery
  • breastfeeding initiation by trust
  • BMI at booking

Birth data is analysed by:

  • percentage born before or after 37 weeks
  • method of delivery
  • percentage of vaginal births who suffered a traumatic lesion and the sub-type of lesions 
  • percentage who had skin to skin contact within 1 hour of birth
  • first feed breast milk status

The range of analysis of data within MSDS will continue to increase.


The MSDS team is responsible for the production of official and national statistics to support and lead in planning, delivery and monitoring services, including monthly statistics

We also produce answers to parliamentary questions, freedom of information requests and other ad hoc data requirements.

Patient level data can be requested through the Data Access Request Service (DARS).

A new maternity services dashboard for quality improvement has been developed. These changes are targeted at making the data more user friendly, particularly for clinicians.


The MSDS provides reliable information for:

  • payment of maternity services
  • local and national monitoring
  • reporting for effective commissioning
  • monitoring outcomes
  • addressing health inequalities

This data set supports the NHS England national maternity transformation programme. Our MSDS team report directly to this programme. Better births is the associated national maternity review paper, the five year forward view for maternity, and sets out the direction of change.

We have created an expert reference group to help develop an improved MSDS version 2. This will go live in 2019.

We continue to work to develop quality improvement metrics that help drive clinical quality improvement in services and patient outcomes. In doing this, we aim for better outcomes for babies, children and mothers.

Last edited: 9 October 2019 11:52 am