Midwifery supervision task force

Local Supervising Authority England National Taskforce

The development of a future model of midwifery supervision in the UK is required following the publication of ‘Midwifery supervision and regulation recommendations for change’ (PHSO 2013) and ‘Midwifery regulation in the United Kingdom’ (The King’s Fund 2015).

The two key principles identified in the reports were accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and agreed by the Secretary of State. These are:

  1. Midwifery supervision and regulation should be separated
  2. The NMC should be in direct control of regulatory activity

To implement these principles, the NMC requires legislative change. It is estimated that the new law will be enacted via a Section 60 order by spring 2017. Until this time, statutory supervision of midwives must continue and responsibility for this sits with NHS England as the Local Supervising Authority (LSA) for England.

A cross-organisational, multi-stakeholder taskforce has been established to oversee the development of a new model and framework of midwifery supervision for England in preparation for when the recommended legislative changes to remove the regulatory aspect are enacted.

The taskforce will:

  • Develop a new model of supervision and support system readiness to implement the new model of supervision in England
  • Oversee implementation on behalf of the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England
  • Work in partnership with the other three nations to ensure synergy where possible for midwives working across the UK.
  • The terms of reference for the England supervision taskforce provides further information about the aims and objectives of the group.

Local Supervising Authority Midwifery Officers (LSAMOs) are integral to the development process. Further information about LSAMOs and their forum can be found here on the LSAMOs website.

The Supervision Taskforce Workstreams

To develop a robust model of supervision the Taskforce must consider a number of aspects, which are being led by seven workstreams:

Education workstream

An education workstream has been established to identify the education required to prepare practitioners to deploy the new model and framework of midwifery supervision.   This group will also be responsible for the design and development of the future training programme once the new model has been developed.

This workstream aims to:

  • Outline and  develop the education preparation programme required to  support midwives to deploy the  new model of supervision ;

Models workstream

The models workstream has been established to develop the new model, incorporating the outputs of the education and user’s workstreams to ensure any new model is robust, affordable and sustainable.

This workstream aims to:

  • Develop a model of clinical supervision to be implemented for clinical and non- clinical midwives Develop principles that underpin the model;

Commissioning Workstream

This work stream has been established to: develop the commissioning specification for the new model and ensure that NHS Standard contract appropriately reflects the new model and the associated implementation guidance.

HR workstream

This work stream is concerned with managing the HR process for staff affected by the dissolution of the LSA and the development of a senior midwifery leadership structure across England

Editorial Workstream

This workstream is concerned with developing the operational guidance for the new model of supervision and all other support tools that will assist with implementation.

The proposed new model will be tested in shadow-form from autumn 2016 until March 2017, in a small number of pilot sites. It will be fully evaluated prior to its proposed launch in spring 2017. View further details on the pilots.

If you would like to contribute feedback, ideas or suggestions to any of these workstreams regarding the development of a new model of midwifery supervision, please contact the taskforce on england.midwiferysupervision@nhs.net.

Consultation on Midwifery Supervision Changes

The government has consulted on changes to our legislation to allow us to modernise the way we regulate midwives. The response to this consultation includes a detailed breakdown of the 1,424 responses received.

An impact assessment sets out the costs and benefits of the options considered. In addition, the Equalities assessment considered the proposals in relation to the Equality Act 2010, and specifically, the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the government proposes to take forward the amendments set out in this consultation and lay the Order (under Section 60 of the Health Act 1999) in Parliament for debate. The main effect of the changes will be taking supervision out of our regulatory legislation. The NMC asked for this change after a number of independent reports confirmed the current arrangements are not appropriate for public protection.