Maternity map: Births to midwives

Map showing ration of births to midwives by region

Staff shortages mean the number of births that midwives have to deal with exceeds recommended levels in most areas of the UK, a Panorama investigation has found.

To provide a safe maternity service, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says there should be an average midwife to birth ratio of one midwife for every 28 births.

Panorama's survey found that the average ratio in England is much higher than that - at one midwife for every 33 births.

In Wales, it is slightly higher at one to 30, while Northern Ireland meets the recommended level. In Scotland, there is an average of one midwife for just 26 births.

Use the table below to see the variations between hospital trusts and health boards from the across the nations.

Click the headings to sort the data alphabetically or numerically.

Ratio of Births to Midwives

Regions & Nations Trusts & Health Boards RATIO
UPDATE 12 August 2011: The midwifery staffing data relating to Aneurin Bevan Health Board has been amended. The health board provided incorrect information in its initial response to the BBC.
London West Middlesex University Hospital 43.88
South East Coast Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals 43.59
South West Wiltshire PCT 43.53
South Central Basingstoke and North Hampshire 42.44
South West Great Western Hospitals 41.54
South Central Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals 41.18
London Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals 40.65
East of England West Hertfordshire Hospitals 40.24
South West Poole Hospital 39.6
South West University Hospitals Bristol 39.45
East of England Cambridge University Hospitals 38.21
East of England Mid Essex Hospital Services 38.13
London Imperial College Healthcare 37.86
London Ealing Hospital 37.72
London Whipps Cross University Hospital 37.52
London Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals 37.44
London Croydon Health Services 37.31
West Midlands George Eliot Hospital 37.31
South East Coast Surrey and Sussex Healthcare 37.08
London South London Healthcare 36.94
West Midlands University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire 36.85
East of England The Princess Alexandra Hospital 36.62
West Midlands The Dudley Group Of Hospitals 36.53
East of England East and North Hertfordshire 36.48
Yorkshire and the Humber Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals 36.48
South Central Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals 36.38
East of England Bedford Hospital 36.32
London The Hillingdon Hospital 36.03
North West Countess Of Chester Hospital 35.93
South Central Royal Berkshire 35.81
London Kingston Hospital 35.79
South Central Buckinghamshire Healthcare 35.59
North West Blackpool Teaching Hospitals 35.46
Yorkshire and the Humber Harrogate and District 35.46
South East Coast Medway 35.41
South Central Milton Keynes Hospital 35.32
East of England Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals 35.27
North West Warrington and Halton Hospitals 35.27
South East Coast Dartford and Gravesham 35.12
London North Middlesex University Hospital 35.07
London Homerton University Hospital 34.84
East Midlands University Hospitals Of Leicester 34.79
Yorkshire and the Humber Calderdale and Huddersfield 34.68
South East Coast Frimley Park Hospital 34.54
South East Coast Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells 34.08
East of England Luton and Dunstable Hospital 33.98
Yorkshire and the Humber Barnsley Hospital 33.92
West Midlands Burton Hospitals 33.84
North West North Cumbria University Hospitals 33.78
South East Coast Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals 33.54
West Midlands The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals 33.46
East of England Hinchingbrooke Health Care 33.31
East of England Ipswich Hospital 33.28
East of England Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals 33.11
South West Salisbury 32.72
North West Southport and Ormskirk Hospital 32.72
London Guy's and St Thomas' 32.71
North West Salford Royal 32.6
East of England Colchester Hospital University 32.47
West Midlands Wye Valley 32.47
North West Stockport 32.44
North West St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals 32.28
West Midlands South Warwickshire 32.24
North West Pennine Acute Hospitals 32.23
South West Taunton and Somerset 32.18
North West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals 32.13
West Midlands Walsall Hospitals 32.1
West Midlands Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals 32.06
North West Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh 31.99
North West Mid Cheshire Hospitals 31.94
London Chelsea and Westminster Hospital 31.77
South East Coast East Kent Hospitals University 31.76
North East South Tees Hospitals 31.76
North West Liverpool Women's 31.51
Yorkshire and the Humber Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals 31.41
South Central Southampton University Hospitals 31.37
South West North Bristol 31.33
East Midlands Chesterfield Royal Hospital 31.15
London Royal Free Hampstead 31.14
West Midlands Heart Of England 31.05
London North West London Hospitals 30.91
East Midlands Kettering General Hospital 30.89
South West South Devon Healthcare 30.89
West Midlands Birmingham Women's 30.81
East Midlands Nottingham University Hospitals 30.81
London Newham University Hospital 30.77
North East City Hospitals Sunderland 30.65
East of England Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals 30.61
West Midlands University Hospital Of North Staffordshire 30.53
North West East Cheshire 30.33
South West Royal Devon and Exeter 30.13
North West Royal Bolton Hospital 29.99
Wales Abertawe Bro Morgannwg 29.99
Wales Cardiff & Vale 29.98
North West Wirral University Teaching Hospital 29.95
Scotland Lothian 29.91
East of England James Paget University Hospitals 29.87
Northern Ireland Southern Health and Social Care 29.85
South East Coast Western Sussex Hospitals 29.79
East Midlands Derby Hospitals 29.73
South Central Portsmouth Hospitals 29.73
Scotland Greater Glasgow and Clyde 29.73
South Central Isle of Wight NHS PCT 29.71
South Central Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare 29.64
Yorkshire and the Humber Sheffield Teaching Hospitals 29.63
North East County Durham and Darlington 29.56
West Midlands Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital 29.49
London St George's Healthcare 29.34
West Midlands Worcestershire Acute Hospitals 29.08
Northern Ireland South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust 29.04
Scotland Grampian 28.84
North West Central Manchester University Hospitals 28.61
North West Tameside Hospital 28.05
Wales Cwm Taf 27.72
East of England West Suffolk Hospitals 27.68
North West University Hospital Of South Manchester 27.64
South West Yeovil District Hospital 27.62
North East South Tyneside 27.52
Northern Ireland Belfast Health and Social Care Trust 27.06
East Midlands Northampton General Hospital 26.64
London Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals 26.57
East Midlands Sherwood Forest Hospitals 26.54
Scotland Tayside 26.14
Northern Ireland Western Health and Social Care 25.88
London King's College Hospital 25.85
Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University 25.83
West Midlands Mid Staffordshire 25.64
North West University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay 25.46
Scotland Lanarkshire 25.43
Wales Hywel Dda 25.21
South West Northern Devon Healthcare 25.08
Scotland Borders 24.64
Northern Ireland Northern Health and Social Care Trust 24.03
Scotland Forth Valley 23.89
Yorkshire and the Humber The Rotherham 23.86
Scotland Ayrshire & Arran 23.69
Wales Aneurin Bevan 23.13*
Scotland Fife 23.09
London The Whittington Hospital 22.03
North East Northumbria Healthcare 21.63
Yorkshire and the Humber Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Health Care 21.23
Scotland Dumfries and Galloway 18.74
Scotland Orkney 18.33
Scotland Highland 16.11
Scotland Shetland 13.48
Wales Powys Teaching 11.65
South West The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals 11.18
South West Weston Area Health 10.4
Scotland Western Isles 9.27

No Data Available

Regions & Nations Trusts & Health Boards
Yorkshire and the Humber Airedale
London Barts and The London
Yorkshire and the Humber Bradford Teaching Hospitals
South West Dorset County Hospital
North West East Lancashire Hospitals
South East Coast East Sussex Hospitals
North East Gateshead Health
South West Gloucestershire Hospitals
Yorkshire and the Humber Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals
Yorkshire and the Humber Leeds Teaching Hospitals
Yorkshire and the Humber Mid Yorkshire Hospitals
North East North Tees and Hartlepool
South West Plymouth Hospitals
South West Royal Cornwall Hospitals
South East Coast Royal Surrey County
East of England Southend University Hospital
London The Lewisham Hospital
North East The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals
East of England The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn
East Midlands United Lincolnshire Hospitals
London University College London Hospitals
Yorkshire and the Humber York Hospitals


Panorama wrote to 171 NHS Trusts and Health Boards with responsibility for maternity services.

According to the Royal College of Midwives, an adequate ratio of midwives to births impacts upon both the safety and quality of maternity care. In order to provide every woman with one-to-one care throughout labour and childbirth, the RCM recommend a minimum ratio of one midwife for every 28 births.

Figures have been calculated using the total number of births in 2010, and the number of whole-time-equivalent midwives employed at each NHS Trust or Health Board on 1 May 2011.

All figures are based on information supplied directly by NHS Trusts and Health Boards.

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