Midwifery supervision is changing: A-EQUIP will be launched shortly – a Health Education England perspective

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England (HEE) talks about the on-going work to help raise awareness around the new employer-led model of midwifery clinical supervision that will replace the current statutory model, when it is enacted on the 31 March 2017.

Supported by the £8million Maternity Safety Training Fund, distributed through HEE, midwives and obstetric teams have been working and training together to create a culture where safety and multi-disciplinary training is the cornerstone of maternity care making these improvements an intrinsic part of everyone’s job, every day.

I am delighted that HEE was part of NHS England’s Supervision Taskforce, committed to building a new model of midwifery clinical supervision that adds value. I know and understand the challenges we face across maternity services and I hope we can align our efforts to ensure that all midwives and the women who use our maternity services all benefit from this new model of clinical midwifery supervision. It was built by midwives for midwives, all helping to realise the vision of Better Births by supporting and valuing the workforce, rather than impose additional challenges on maternity service providers.

All frontline midwives have a key in seizing the opportunity to enhance and bring the benefits into clinical practice as well as making best use of this new model. I recognise that for some it has been a tough and difficult process of public and professional scrutiny which highlighted system failures and lack of consistency in process, whilst other professionals felt this change was timely. However, we all have a significant role to play now to ensure a smooth transitioning from a statutory to an employer-led model, requiring an ‘iterative’ approach to ensure midwives understand and have the confidence to undertake this new role.

The new employer-led model of midwifery clinical supervision is termed A-EQUIP, an acronym for Advocating and Educating for Quality Improvement, which is a continuous improvement process. It has four inter-related functions such as staff development, action to improve quality and experiences of care designed to support midwives to deliver safe and effective practice by helping to build personal and professional resilience. The statutory title of Supervisor of Midwives has also been changed to Professional Midwife Advocate (PMA).

HEE’s e-Learning for Healthcare is in the process of developing a resource to guide learners to explore the evidence base and the context which led to the development of the new supervision model.

This e-learning resource will provide an introduction to the role of Professional Midwifery Advocate, focusing on the recognition and reflection of the difference between the professional midwifery advocate and statutory supervisor of midwives (SoMs) roles, in relation to contemporary midwifery practice.

In advance of its launch why not bookmark a link to the e-Learning for Healthcare website.

This resource will be for any working midwife, maternity providers, commissioners, higher education institutions and other healthcare professionals who wish to know more about A-EQUIP, the clinical supervision model and  for all clinical and non-clinical midwives working in England. It will also be for midwives who have been trained as statutory SoMs and wish to undertake the PMA shortened education programme to become a PMA and midwives who wish to undertake the shortened PMA education programme to become PMAs.

The e-learning session provides the opportunity for you to explore the model from a conceptual and practical perspective; demonstrating how it can support you in practice. There will be an opportunity to self-assess your knowledge and reflect on this throughout the session through case studies, as well as highlighting how the model adds value for providers of maternity services by supporting midwives to deliver safe and effective practice.

So do stop and think for a moment during this important week of action. Chat to colleagues about what you can do to support and look out for the engagement opportunities that you can take part in.

Take advantage of the free e-learning session. It takes just 30 minutes to complete. A certificate is available on completion as evidence to prepare for your appraisal, professional re-validation and ongoing educational development.

Completion of the e-learning session is required prior to commencing either the three-day PMA shortened education training programme or completion of the further training required as a midwife to be accredited as a PMA. Both also require achievement of the competencies required of a PMA. Further information is available from your employer.

Finally, look out for the Education Blog later this week and let me know what you think and join us all on Twitter, following @6CsLive, using the hashtag #A-EQUIP where we will continue our conversation.

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Lisa was appointed as Chief Nurse at Health Education England (HEE) in 2012 and in this role she is responsible for leading national policy, workforce planning, and multi-professional education and training commissioning for the non-medical healthcare workforce.

Key achievements include delivering transformation of nursing education and training (Raising the Bar), the successful test site programme for the Nursing Associate role, development and piloting of pre-degree care experience for aspirant nurses and leading the ‘return to practice’ initiative.

In 2017, in addition to her Chief Nurse role, Lisa was appointed to the as Interim Regional Director for London and South East. As the Regional Director Lisa is responsible for approximately £1billion of investment in education, training and workforce development across London. Her role also includes providing support to five Sustainability and Transformation Plans within the capital.

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  1. Mary Edmondson says:

    Please could you tell which module it is to do the Professional Midwifery Advocate training.
    Thank you