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New figures on maternity services released today: statistical press release

NHS maternity statistics for the financial year 2021-22

The latest annual report outlining maternity activity in English NHS hospitals during 2021-22 has been published by NHS Digital today.

NHS Maternity Statistics, England, 2021-22 brings together information from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database1 on hospital care received before, during and after delivery and the Maternity Services Dataset (MSDS).

The report includes national tables using HES data2 to show:

  • Method of onset of labour
  • Delivery complications
  • Birth complications

Each of these tables includes further breakdowns such as gestation length, duration of hospital stay and birth status.

The report also includes data from the MSDS about the mother and baby, collected at the mother’s initial booking appointment and at the labour and delivery. MSDS includes some information also available in HES, but includes additional information on:

  • Mother’s smoking status at booking
  • Mother’s circumstances (social and medical factors)
  • Gestational age at booking and delivery
  • Location of delivery
  • Baby’s weight, health, and after birth activity

The information from HES and MSDS can be broken down by various demographics, such as age of mother, ethnicity and deprivation.

Read the full report

NHS Maternity Statistics, England, 2021-22

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 counts and should be used for this in preference to HES and MSDS maternity data held by NHS Digital. The HES and MSDS maternity data held by NHS Digital provide additional information around pregnancies, deliveries, births, and babies, including information about the mother, her care throughout pregnancy, the mode of her delivery and her treatment during it, and activity after birth including baby’s first feed and the timing of skin-to-skin contact.

  2. 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’. Data from HES are classified as Official Statistics, reflecting its status as an established data source. 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.

Last edited: 28 November 2022 3:20 pm