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Annual NHS maternity statistics published today

The latest annual report outlining maternity activity in English NHS hospitals during 2019-20 has been published by NHS Digital today.

The latest annual report outlining maternity activity in English NHS hospitals during 2019-20 has been published by NHS Digital today.

NHS Maternity Statistics, England, 2019-20 brings together detailed information from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database1 on hospital care received before, during and after delivery.

The report includes detailed tables at national level for:

  • Method of onset of labour
  • Method of delivery
  • Age of mother
  • Deprivation
  • Ethnicity
  • Delivery complications
  • Birth complications

Each of these tables is further broken down by additional dimensions such as gestation length, duration of hospital stay and birth status.

The report provides information from the Maternity Services Dataset (MSDS) on a range of measures reported at a mother’s booking appointment, as well as information on the labour and delivery along with babies’ demographics, diagnoses and screening tests. 

This is the first year that we have published data from the new MSDS v2.02, so the data in this year’s report may not be comparable with previous years3.

MSDS data is classed as experimental statistics.  Therefore, any figures from this dataset should be treated with caution, but it can provide useful information from the subset of women whose data it includes.


Read the full report:  

NHS Maternity Statistics, England, 2019-20

Notes for editors

    1. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) collects information on births and maternities (maternities are equivalent to deliveries in HES). Most of the information, for both live births and stillbirths, is supplied to registrars by one or both parents. As it is a legal requirement to register all births, the ONS is the official source of delivery and birth information and should be used in preference to HES and MSDS maternity data held by NHS Digital. The age breakdown data from HES reported is provided to bring context to the other results.
    2. MSDS v2.0 is an update to the existing data set that introduces a new structure and content, including clinical terminology, in order to meet current clinical practice and incorporate new requirements. MSDS v2.0 also mandates the submission of all maternity records in scope of the data set, including records that are held on paper which must be submitted in the required electronic format. MSDS v2.0 is designed to meet requirements that resulted from the National Maternity Review, which led to the publication of the Better Births report in February 2016.
    3. The previous version of the dataset, MSDS v1.5 ceased collection with March 2019 data that was published in June 2019. MSDS has been developed to help achieve better outcomes of care for mothers, babies and children using NHS-funded maternity services in England. It provides comparative data that will be used to improve clinical quality and reduce health inequalities.

Last edited: 20 December 2022 1:34 pm