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Publication, Part of

NHS Maternity Statistics - England, 2006-2007

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Organisations, Hospital Trusts, Government Office Regions, Primary Care Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Country, NHS Trusts, Care Trusts, Independent Sector Health Care Providers
Date Range:
01 Apr 2006 to 31 Mar 2007


A correction was made to Table 20: Duration of postnatal stay by method of onset of labour and method of delivery, 2006-07 (on 17/02/2009). Further details can be found in the 'Onset and delivery' and 'Antenatal/postnatal stay' sections.

Hospital Episode Statistics contains a wide range of maternity information which has been published annually since 2000-01. This information has historically been reported separately from other HES data because it has a number of unique characteristics and issues which do not affect other aspects of HES data. More information about these issues can be found in the maternity topic paper on HES Online.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre began a complete review of the NHS Maternity Statistics publication in December 2007. The review was carried out in the interest of bringing the publication in line with the National Statistics code of practice, supporting the measurement of the maternity indicator from the recent PSA target and continuous improvement of published data within the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The results of this review were published in a public consultation in May 2008 along with a number of proposals for the future direction of the publication. Stakeholders were able to provide feedback via a questionnaire.

As a result of the consultation a number of revisions have been made to the publication. Read the full discussion in the consultation document and consultation response. Although the issues with maternity data remain (such as poor data quality and coverage), due to changes in methodology it is now possible to publish maternity HES data alongside inpatient and outpatient data.


Between 2005-06 and 2006-07:

• The number of deliveries taking place in NHS hospitals increased by 2.9 per cent (629,207) compared to 2005-6 (611,337)
• The caesarean rate remained stable in 2006-07 at 24.3 per cent (145,051), this was 24.1 per cent (138,824) on a comparable basis in 2005-06.

In 2006-07:
• Over 20 per cent of labours were induced
• The caesarean rate remained stable in 2006-07 at 24.3 per cent (this was 24.1 per cent on a comparable basis in 2005-06); more than half these were emergency caesareans
• 11.5 per cent were instrumental deliveries
• An estimated 52 per cent of deliveries were 'normal deliveries' defined as those without surgical intervention, use of instruments, induction, epidural, spinal or general anaesthetic
• Most women with spontaneous deliveries spent 0 or 1 day in hospital after delivery, women with instrumental deliveries 1 or 2 days and women with caesarean deliveries between 2 and 3 days
• Recovery time in hospital following caesarean section is lessening. Approximately one quarter (27,407) spent four days or more recovering in hospital in 2006-07, compared to just under a third (31,393) in 2005-06
• During labour about one third of women had an epidural, general or spinal anaesthetic
• 13 per cent of women had an episiotomy
• 23 per cent of Asian women's babies weighed more than 3500g compared with 44 per cent of White women's babies and 34 per cent of Black women's babies. Low birth weights (under 2500g) comprised 10 per cent of Asian women's babies compared with 8 per cent of Black and 6 per cent of White women's babies.
• In 2006-07, about 35 per cent of deliveries were conducted by hospital doctors and 62 per cent by midwives.


Last edited: 8 February 2019 2:45 pm