A further 144 areas are deemed in need of improvement, with 53 assessed as performing well and one judged as top performing.The ratings examined stillbirth and neonatal mortality, maternal smoking at the time of delivery, women’s experience of maternity services and women’s choice.Elizabeth Duff, senior policy adviser at the National Childbirth Trust, said: “These figures starkly highlight areas where improvement is needed. For example, it is very disappointing that in some parts of the country barely half of women get the maternity care of their choice.”However, she said parents-to-be should not use the figures in isolation to decide where to have a baby.”They are baseline ratings which don’t take into account every aspect of care,” she said. Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a significant amount of data which the RCM will need to consider carefully.”I do, however, welcome the openness and transparency in publishing these ratings. This is a positive step and one that could help women to be informed about the quality of services where they live, and empower them to make more informed decisions about their care.”“Hopefully these ratings will be used to help CCGs learn from the best and to improve quality where that is shown to be needed. “Mr Hunt said: “The government has delivered on its commitment to publish Ofsted-style ratings for key NHS services – the result is transparency which will empower patients and ultimately drive up the quality of care.“We want the NHS to be one of the safest places in the world to have a baby and we recently announced an increase in funding, more training and the ambition to halve levels of stillbirth.“There is more to do, but this is the first time we can see in black and white that in the crucial area of CCG spending we are fulfilling our commitment on parity of esteem, with mental health funding rising faster than overall increases.”Dr Matthew Jolly, NHS England’s national clinical director for maternity, said: “It has never been safer to give birth in this country and the vast majority of women report a good experience, but there is more that we can do.“The ratings published today will help local areas identify where they are doing well and importantly where improvements can be made – helping to ensure women and their families have a good experience wherever they live.”Meanwhile, new analysis of births published by the Office for National Statistics suggests that middle-class women are having more children than those in traditional working-class jobs.Only 17 per cent of babies born in England and Wales last year were to mothers in “routine” or “semi-routine” occupations, while 50 per cent had mothers classed in white-collar professional, managerial or intermediate positions. Another third either did not work or could not be classified.Among older mothers the distinction was even more marked. The figures also showed a fall in the fertility rate among immigrant mothers.A recent audit of maternity services exposed widespread shortages of hospital consultants on labour wards. Britain has one of the highest levels for stillbirths in the Western world Credit:Dominic Lipinksi/PA ‘It is very positive that the Government will be listening to disabled people and their parents on how the NHS can better support families when serious issues do occur during birth’James Taylor, disability charity Scope Baby Joshua Titcombe died after hospital staff failed to provide antibiotics for an infection Three quarters of NHS maternity services are failing, according to the first ever Ofsted-style rankings which reveal just one area has been placed in the top category.The data has been published as part of a transparency drive by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, in an effort to improve Britain’s “shocking” place in international league tables.The UK has higher rates of stillbirth than Poland, Croatia and Estonia, and compensation claims against the NHS for catastrophic blunders in childbirth have tripled in a decade.The new rankings show that 74 per cent of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are providing services which are in need of improvement.The remainder are deemed to be performing well, with just one area – NHS West Kent – achieving the best ranking.The rankings identify 11 areas as the worst for maternity services. They are: Milton Keynes; South Warwickshire; Wolverhampton; Nottingham City; East Riding of Yorkshire; Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield; South Tees; Bradford Districts; Hull; Slough and South Gloucestershire. Almost half of hospitals had no senior doctors at weekends, while three quarters had no consultants working on maternity units at night. Last week Mr Hunt announced new initiatives which aim to improve the safety record of Britain’s maternity units.The Health Secretary said more than 1,000 babies could be saved each year if every NHS trust could match the performance of the best.Promising extra funding for safety training, and today’s ratings of maternity services, Mr Hunt said the UK had higher rates of stillbirth than Poland, Croatia and Estonia.“We are in the bottom third of a global league table of 164 countries for progress on reduction of stillbirths,” he warned, in a speech in London.Mr Hunt said midwives needed to do more to listen and act when concerns were raised by mothers-to-be.Health officials also published rankings of mental health services. These found 60 per cent of areas were in need of improvement, with 34 per cent performing well and just 6 per cent top performing.Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said: “This new level of local transparency is unprecedented for any mental health service anywhere in the world.”Over the next five years, we want to see major improvements in NHS mental services. These figures for last year transparently lay out the starting baseline against which everyone will be able to judge whether the NHS is getting better in each and every town, city and county across England.”In a speech to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Mr Hunt last week said changes were needed to foster a culture of transparency.“Our stillbirth rates are still amongst the highest in Western Europe and many on the front line say there is still too much of a blame culture when things go wrong – often caused by fear of litigation or worry about damage to reputation and careers.” Last week, a report by the Care Quality Commission found that 37 per cent of maternity services were “inadequate” or “require improvement”.Britain has one of the worst stillbirth rates in the Western world, according to international rankings.In November a national study found half of stillbirths occurred after women contacted maternity units because they were fearful that their baby’s movements had slowed, changed or stopped.The clinical commissioning groups with the worst maternity servicesMilton KeynesSouth WarwickshireWolverhamptonNottingham CityEast Riding of YorkshireDurham Dales, Easington and SedgefieldSouth TeesBradford DistrictsHullSlough and South Gloucestershire Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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“But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life. Meghan MarkleCredit: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his. “He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done.”He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.” Here is the statement issued by the Communications Secretary to Prince Harry on his girlfriend, Meghan Markle:”Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public.”He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads.”He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life. He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it.”He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.