In year ending March 2007, 1.1% of births were in freestanding midwifery units,3.1% in alongside midwifery units, 3% at home and the rest (97%) in obstetric units. In the follow up survey of NHS trusts in England conducted at the end of 2010, the number of identified alongside midwifery units had risen from 26 to 53 (100%) and freestanding midwifery units had increased from 56 to 59. It seems probable that the proportion of births in these units will have increased (no follow-up data on access on actual place of birth were collected), but still be available to only a small minority as capacity is generally low in midwifery units.
By 2010, 50% of NHS trusts still had no midwifery unit (either freestanding in the community or alongside the obstetric unit). This limits the choices for birth
available to women.