Maternity Services Data Set Overview


The Maternity Services Data Set (MSDS) is a PATIENT-level data set that captures key information at each stage of the maternity care pathway including mother’s demographics, Antenatal Booking Appointments, admissions and re-admissions, Screening Tests, Labour and Delivery along with baby’s demographics, admissions, diagnoses and Screening Tests.

As a secondary uses data set the Maternity Services Data Set re-uses clinical and operational data for purposes other than direct PATIENT care. It defines the data items, definitions and associated value sets extracted or derived from local information systems.

The Maternity Services Data Set is designed to meet requirements that resulted from the National Maternity Review, which led to the publication of the Better Births report in February 2016. Better Births highlighted the need for Maternity Services in England to become safer, more personalised and provide better access to information for pregnant women. The publication of Better Births resulted in the establishment of the Maternity Transformation Programme, and the data set forms part of the ‘Sharing Data and Information’ workstream of the programme.

Data Collection

The Maternity Services Data Set collects information on each stage of care for women as they go through pregnancy.

The Maternity Services Data Set Information Standards Notice (ISN) mandates the central flow of administrative and clinical information for secondary uses purposes. The scope of the data set includes all ACTIVITY carried out by NHS-funded Maternity Services relating to the mother and baby or babies, from the point of the first Antenatal Booking Appointment until the mother and baby are discharged from Maternity Services.

The Maternity Services Data Set provides the definitions for data:

The Maternity Services Data Set enables standardised collection of data from various services to be assembled for reporting purposes.

Submission information

The Maternity Services Data Set is submitted centrally via the Data Processing Services (DPS) maintained by NHS Digital.

The Maternity Services Data Set is submitted to NHS Digital using the Maternity Services Data Set XML Schema.

A conversion tool has also been developed which enables the loading or copying of data into the provided table structure. Once populated, the tool can export the data in the required XML format, ready for submission.

Format information

Data for submission will be formatted into an XML file as per Technology Reference Update Distribution (TRUD) at: NHS Data Model and Dictionary: DD XML Schemas.

For enquiries regarding the XML Schema, please contact NHS Digital at

Further guidance

Further guidance has been produced by NHS Digital and is available at Maternity Services Data Set.


The Mandation column indicates the recommendation for the inclusion of data:

XML Schema

For guidance on downloading the XML Schema, see XML Schema TRUD Download.