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.