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Maternity Services

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of pregnancies where a home birth had been requested resulted in a hospital delivery in 2007-08; (259991)

(2) what proportion of births were home deliveries in (a) 2000-01 and (b) 2007-08;

(3) how many maternity beds there were in England in (a) 2000 and (b) 2008.

The Office for National Statistics publishes home birth statistics. The latest available data are for the calendar year 2007 and can be found in Birth Statistics, Series FM1, table 8.1.

The information in the table is summarised as follows.

Number and percentage of women giving birth at home1, England and Wales, 2000-07

Number of women giving birth at home

Total number of women giving birth

Percentage of women giving birth at home

2000

12,803

598,580

2.1

2001

12,115

588,868

2.1

2002

12,697

590,453

2.2

2003

13,590

615,787

2.2

2004

14,506

633,728

2.3

2005

16,501

639,627

2.6

2006

18,100

662,915

2.7

2007

19,594

682,999

2.9

1 The figures provided show the number and percentage of women who gave birth at home i.e. home maternities, rather than the number of babies born at home. A maternity is a pregnancy resulting in the birth of one or more live-born or stillborn babies.

Source:

Office for National Statistics

The numbers of planned home births that resulted in a hospital delivery are not collected centrally.

The average daily number of available maternity beds in England was 10,203 in 1999-2000, 9,767 in 2000-01 and 8,441 in 2007-08. This period has seen shorter hospital stays and a growth in maternity day assessment units, where women at high risk can be monitored during the day but are able to return home at night.

Source:

Department of Health form KH03