Changes in access to antenatal services
All pregnant women should be encouraged to access maternity services for a full assessment of their health and social care needs, risks and choices within the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy. This is to give them the full benefit of personalised maternity care, and to improve outcomes and experience.
From 2009 to the end of 2011, antenatal appointment data were collected as 'vital signs'. From 2011 to the end of 2012, these data were collected as 'integrated performance measures monitoring'.
Since April 2013, data has been provided by NHS England in its 'Maternity and Breastfeeding data set'. The number of pregnant women having an assessment is taken from provider data and the number of pregnant women eligible is taken from ONS national statistics on the number of live births.
Data are only available geographically, no other details (such as age, ethnicity, etc) are collected. Data are given in three quarter outputs. If a woman is assessed in quarter 1, she is recorded as giving birth in quarter 3, so although data were collected from 2011/12 quarter 4, results are only available from 2012/13 quarter 2 onwards. Results are recorded to correspond to the quarter the antenatal appointment occurred in, not when the maternity was recorded.
Note that percentages can be more than 100% if women who are assessed go on to miscarry or terminate, causing them to be captured in the numerator but not the denominator. This could also occur if women deliver at a different hospital to where they were assessed.