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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Information Standards Notice (ISN) for the Digital Maternity Record Standard

As part of the Digital Maternity Interoperability project, in November 2019 a new Digital Maternity Record Standard for direct maternity care was published, via an Information Standards Notice, to improve the way information is shared between women, midwives, doctors, health care services and IT systems. 

Digital Maternity update: NHSX has taken over responsibility for the delivery of the Digital Maternity programme

We have been working with our commissioners, NHSX, to review the digital maternity workstreams. From the 1 July, the digital maternity work has been transferred to NHSX and we will no longer be updating these webpages.

If you have any questions about future digital maternity work please email

The new information standards, will ensure maternity record information is consistently captured and as a result can be shared more easily across health care systems in England in the future.

As part of the national plans to improve maternity services, the NHS is changing the way information is shared between women, doctors and other members of the health care team. The first step in this process is to standardise the information in digital maternity records. 

Once maternity services and system suppliers have adopted the record standard, it becomes easier for information about the care of women when pregnant from the maternity record to be shared between different systems, because they are speaking the same language. This will facilitate the next phases of the digital maternity interoperability project, which enables data to be shared through new technical capabilities in a safe and secure way. 

This will save time for health care professionals and women and make sure they have the necessary information in the right place, at the right time to make decisions for safer care. 

Next steps

Trusts providing maternity care should be aware of the information standards notice and will be working with their system supplier to establish how they can best meet the Digital Maternity Record Standard for direct care. 

In preparation maternity services need to:

  • find out their current supplier’s plans for adhering to the information standards notice. It is common for national standards and statutory updates to be included in standard supplier contracts
  • consider your alternative options if your current supplier is unable to meet the digital maternity record standard
  • continue to drive quality data capture throughout the pregnancy pathway. This will reduce burden for staff and support safer care.

When your maternity services has rolled out the new Digital Maternity Record Standard, they will need to inform NHS Digital by emailing

Maternity services requiring more information about the information standards notice can email

The Digital Maternity Record Standard and the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) v2.0

The Digital Maternity Record Standard and the Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) v2.0 are two independent and separate pieces of work. The Digital Maternity Record Standard relates to the direct care of an individual woman and the MSDS is about data that's reported to help plan services and care provision going forward. 

The two projects have worked together to ensure data captured as part of the Digital Maternity Record Standard can be extracted and submitted for the MSDS reporting. In doing so we expect to reduce burden for the people reporting the information. 

At the moment, payment information for maternity services is taken from the Commissioning Data Set (CDS) "maternity tails". 

MSDS v2.0 has been designed to replicate the content of CDS so the CDS element of maternity tails will be retired once the data quality and completeness of MSDS v2.0 is sufficient. 

Maternity payments are largely based on clinical factors, for example specific medical conditions and complex social factors, which can be captured in the record standard. 

Aligning the Digital Maternity Record Standard and the MSDS v2.0 will ensure the record standard supports the capture of payment information.  

Further information

internal Maternity Services Data Set

The Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) is a patient level data set that collects information on each stage of care for women as they go through pregnancy. As a secondary uses data set it re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct patient care.

Last edited: 17 February 2020 12:41 pm