Skip to main content
Publication, Part of

Maternity Services Monthly Statistics, England - March 2016, Experimental statistics

Official statistics, Experimental statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Regions, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities, Hospital Trusts, Provider, Clinical Commissioning Regions, NHS Trusts
Date Range:
01 Mar 2016 to 31 Mar 2016


This is a report on NHS-funded maternity services in England for March 2016, using data submitted to the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS).


The MSDS is a patient-level data set that captures key information at each stage of the maternity service care pathway in NHS-funded maternity services, such as those maternity services provided by GP practices and hospitals. The data collected includes mother's demographics, booking appointments, admissions and re-admissions, screening tests, labour and delivery along with baby's demographics, diagnoses and screening tests.


The MSDS has been developed to help achieve better outcomes of care for mothers, babies and children. As a 'secondary uses' data set, it re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct patient care, such as commissioning, clinical audit, research, service planning and performance management at both local and national level. It will provide comparative, mother and child-centric data that will be used to improve clinical quality and service efficiency, and to commission services in a way that improves health and reduces inequalities.


As part of this month's publication we are also publishing a special feature presenting further analysis of data submitted to the MSDS pertaining to the birth episodes of pregnant women and comparing this data to similar data reported in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) during the same period.


These statistics are classified as experimental and should be used with caution. Experimental statistics are new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage. More information about experimental statistics can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.

Key Facts

This report contains key information based on the submissions that have been made by providers and will focus on data relating to activity that occurred in March 2016.


  • The average age of a woman attending a booking appointment was 29 years. The average age varied by commissioning region from 29 years in the North of England Commissioning Region to 31 years in the London Commissioning Region.
  • Women under the age of 20 accounted for 4.4 per cent of all women with a recorded age. The highest proportion of these pregnancies occurred in the North of England Commissioning Region, where 5.3 per cent of women were under the age of 20.
  • The percentage of women attending antenatal appointments with a recorded height and weight that were obese (with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30) was 20 per cent. Those who were underweight (BMI less than 18.5), accounted for 8 per cent of women attending booking appointments with a recorded height and weight.
  • At the time of their booking appointment, 12 per cent of women with a recorded smoking status were smokers, and 80 per cent were non-smokers.
  • The percentage of women with a recorded number (between 0 and 20) of previous births and caesarean sections that had not given birth before was 44 per cent. Women who had given birth before, but had never had a caesarean section accounted for 43 per cent of all the women attending booking appointments. The percentage of women that had had at least one previous caesarean section was 13 per cent.

The special feature report presents further analysis of data submitted for the reporting periods December 2015 to February 2016 from the Maternity Services Dataset (MSDS) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data for the same period.

  • Almost twice as many organisations had delivery data in HES in comparison to the MSDS for each month between December 2015 and February 2016.
  • Due to the non-submission of data to the MSDS, the MSDS reported approximately 60 per cent fewer deliveries than reported in HES for all three months considered.

Administrative Sources

Maternity Services Data Set


Related Links

Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:26 pm