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Maternity report shows trends in hospital deliveries

NHS Digital must be quoted as the source of these figures

Regional data are available within this report

Update: 10 November 2016. The Hospital Maternity Activity 2015-16 summary report has been temporarily removed from the NHS Digital website in order to make corrections to the Key Facts. The corrected document will be uploaded as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.

9 November 2016: Figures released today by NHS Digital1 provide information on maternity activity in NHS hospitals in England.

The annual report, Hospital Maternity Activity, 2015-16, provides information on birth and delivery episodes2, broken down by a range of factors, which in some cases offer time series information for more than 25 years.

The data in the report are taken from the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data warehouse; HES contains records of all inpatient admissions, outpatient appointments, and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England.

Hospital Maternity Activity, 2015-16, presents the number of delivery episodes during the last financial year, broken down by categories including, but not limited to:

  •  Method of delivery
  •  Age and ethnicity of the woman
  •  How deprived3 the area is where the woman lives
  •  Type of anaesthetic used before or during the delivery
  •  Length of hospital stay
  •  Delivery and birth complications, where appropriate
  •  Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies that resulted in an NHS hospital stay

The purpose of this publication is to inform and support strategy and policy for the benefit of patient care, but it will also be of interest to researchers, journalists, and members of the public concerned with maternity hospital activity.

Read the full report at:


Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit

2. A delivery episode is the hospital episode where a mother gives birth to a baby. The baby will also have a hospital episode, known as a birth episode. This report is based on hospital deliveries. Deliveries are a subset of finished consultant episodes (FCE); a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.

3. Deprivation in this report is based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), a composite score of relative deprivation based on a number of domains - England can be subdivided into more than 32,000 Lower Super Output Areas (geographic areas of similar population size) which are then scored using the IMD and ranked. These publication tables group those ranked areas into 10, known as deciles, from most deprived to least.

4. For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.




Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:36 pm