NHS Maternity Statistics - 2008-2009
Associated tables can be found on the HESonline website.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) contains a wide range of maternity information which has been published annually since 2000-01. The publication includes details of all births taking place in NHS hospitals (in England) excluding home births and those taking place in independent sector hospitals. This includes a wide range of information such as details of how the baby was born (method of delivery), complications, birth weight and gestation.
This information was historically reported separately from other HES data because it has a number of unique characteristics and issues which do not affect other aspects of the data. More information about these issues can be found in the maternity topic paper. Following a public consultation exercise in 2007 and changes in methodology, it is now possible (since 2006-07 data) to publish maternity HES data alongside inpatient and outpatient data.
For the 2008-09 publication, the data has been released in two phases, this has enabled us to release headline maternity statistics in a timely fashion and deliver the remaining tables approximately 6-8 weeks later. This is an interim approach and will be reviewed before the 2009-10 publication is released, following consultation with users.
• There was no significant change in the caesarean rate from 2007-08 to 2008-09, with the rate of caesareans being 24.6 per cent in both years (154,814 in 2008-09 and 153,406 in 2007-08).
• 20.2 per cent (108,617) of labours were induced, compared to 20.4 per cent (94,422) in 2007-08.
• The number of instrumental deliveries increased by 0.1 percentage points, accounting for 12.2 per cent (76,742) of all deliveries, compared to 12.1 per cent (75,253) in 2007-08.
• In 2008-09, 48.8 per cent of deliveries took place in what are designated consultant wards, compared to 44.7 per cent in 2007-08 and 40.4 per cent of deliveries taking place in combined consultant / midwife / GP wards compared to 43.6 per cent in 2007-08.
• Over half (50.3 per cent or 231,209) of all deliveries occurred between 39 and 40 weeks' gestation, compared to 49.4 per cent (163,092) in 2007-08
• Almost three quarters (74.0 per cent, or 243,215) of women with spontaneous deliveries spent a day or less in hospital after delivery in 2008-09, compared to 74.1 per cent in 2007-08
• More than a third of women (36.5 per cent, or 182,279) had an epidural, general or spinal anaesthetic during labour. The equivalent figure was 36.5 per cent in 2007-08
• 44.4 per cent (157,672) of White women's babies weighed 3,500g (7lb 11oz) or more compared with 35.0 per cent (9,734) of Black women's babies and 23.9 per cent (12,740) of Asian women's babies. In 2007-08 the proportions were 44.7 per cent for White women, 35.1 per cent for Black women and 23.8 per cent for Asian women.
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