Maternity Services: Birth Rate

Department of Health written question – answered on 18th December 2017.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the birth rates were at each freestanding midwife-led unit in each year since 2011.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information on the birth rate at each freestanding midwife-led unit in each year since 2011 is not held centrally.

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in November 2017 reported that at the start of 2017, there were 63 midwife-led units in England, the majority of which have fewer than 500 births annually. Between April 2015 and March 2016, 1.4% of all births in England took place in a freestanding midwifery unit.

More women start labour in midwife-led settings than give birth there due to transfers during labour. The Birthplace study reported a 36% transfer rate from freestanding midwifery units.

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