This is a report on NHS maternity activity in England. The report examines data relating to delivery and birth episodes in 2019-20, and the booking appointments for these deliveries.
The report examines data from both Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS). In doing so it aims to provide a more complete picture of NHS maternity activity.
This report does not examine statistics relating to outpatient appointments or attendances at A&E departments reported within HES which may be found in other reports. Data on other aspects of the maternity pathway from the MSDS is reported in a monthly publication series.
Both sets of data are submitted by NHS providers in England on a monthly basis to NHS Digital. The HES data is patient level record based data relating to deliveries in NHS hospitals, and looks at specific types of hospital episodes called ‘finished delivery episodes’ and ‘finished birth episodes’. 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. It is a maturing, national-level dataset and reporting coverage has continued to improve. However it does not yet capture as many deliveries as are recorded in HES. As such statistics using MSDS are classified as experimental and should be used with caution.