This section reports on details captured at the booking appointment. This is classed as the first official antenatal appointment which NICE recommends should occur ideally by 10 weeks into pregnancy. The majority of HES maternity data relates to the delivery episode. The only data relating to contact with services earlier in pregnancy that is recorded as part of the delivery episode is the gestation at the first antenatal assessment date.
The MSDS has been designed to record activity throughout the maternity pathway, from the booking appointment to discharge from maternity services, so is able to report more information on women’s characteristics and circumstances prior to the delivery episode. Analysis in this report is of booking appointments for births in 2019-20 submitted to MSDS. This differs from the analysis of booking appointments in the Maternity Services Monthly Statistics, which analyses booking appointments that took place in the reporting period. For example, for a birth in April 2019 the booking appointment is likely to have been in late summer 2018.
Due to partial coverage of activity reported to the MSDS both geographically and over time during 2019-20 it is advised that the following figures should be described in terms of all submitters to the MSDS rather than England level figures.
Data on Body Mass Index (BMI) and alcohol consumption have not been included in this publication due to the low volumes of data submitted for these measures. We expect their completeness to increase over time and will include these measures in future MSDS publications when data coverage improves.