We report an independent prospective review of the first 230 Birmingham hip resurfacings in 212 patients at a mean follow-up of five years (4 to 6). Two patients, one with a loose acetabular component and the other with suspected avascular necrosis of the femoral head, underwent revision. There were two deaths from unrelated causes and one patient was lost to follow-up. The survivorship with the worst-case scenario was 97.8% (95% confidence interval 95.8 to 99.5). The mean Harris hip score improved significantly (paired t-test, p < 0.05) from 62.54 (8 to 92) pre-operatively to 97.7 (61 to 100) at a mean of three years (2.1 to 4.3), then deteriorated slightly to a mean of 95.2 (47 to 100) at a mean of five years. The mean flexion improved from 91.5 degrees (25 degrees to 140 degrees) to 110.4 degrees (80 degrees to 145 degrees) at a mean of three years with no further improvement at five years (111.2 degrees; 70 degrees to 160 degrees). On radiological review at five years, one patient had a progressive lucent line around the acetabular component and six had progressive lucent lines around the femoral component. A total of 18 femoral components (8%) had migrated into varus and those with lucent lines present migrated a mean of 3.8 degrees (1.02 degrees to 6.54 degrees) more than the rest. Superolateral notching of the femoral neck and reactive sclerosis at the tip of the peg of the femoral component were associated with the presence of lucent lines (chi-squared test, p < 0.05), but not with migration of the femoral component, and are of unknown significance. Our results with the Birmingham hip resurfacing continue to be satisfactory at a mean follow-up of five years.