New midwifery supervision model Equip pilot sites

The policy paper ‘Proposals for changing the system of midwifery supervision in the UK’ (Department of Health 2016), a framing document developed in collaboration with the UK Chief Nursing Officers and professional midwifery officers, was published on 22 January 2016 and outlines the requirement to devise an overarching system of midwifery supervision that will be put in place when statutory supervision is removed.

To do this, each UK country is required to convene a task force led by the Chief Nursing Officer of each country to examine and embed the principles for midwifery supervision outlined in the Department of Health’s policy paper.

The NHS England Supervision Taskforce was formed in January 2016 and is responsible for developing the new model of midwifery supervision for England which will be implemented in spring 2017, subject to a change in legislation. The taskforce has five workstreams:

  • model design
  • education reform
  • user co- design
  • HR
  • Commissioning

The task force is working closely with the other three UK countries to support consistency for midwives working across the UK.

Over the last few months, the Local Supervising Authority (LSA) taskforce has been building a new model for midwifery supervision, giving midwives the opportunity to contribute as to what the new model might look like. The new model will also be fundamentally important to help transform the workforce in line with the vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review. It will specifically support workstream five, transforming the workforce within the Maternity Transformation Programme.

We are now seeking to work with a small number of maternity providers who will test the new approach alongside the current statutory model of supervision. It is important that the new approach is tested in a variety of maternity settings so invitations are welcome from large, small, urban, rural and independent providers who have the capacity to support the pilot whilst maintaining their current supervision arrangements.

We will provide a package of ‘in-house’ support to train a small number of midwives who will deliver the new approach, and prepare the organisation for implementing the pilot. We will agree the data that needs to be collected and how this will be used to evaluate the pilot.

The expression of interest should include a vision for change and explain the relationships and arrangements that are, or will be put in place to support and take the work forward at pace for the duration of the pilot. A criteria and application form has been provided to assist with the application process.

We aim to have pilot sites in place by October 2016 and expect them to run for up to 5 months, with on-going evaluation designed to facilitate rapid learning to enable national launch of the final new approach in April 2017 (subject to the law change).

Maternity organisations wishing to become a pilot site should send their expressions of interest using the application form by Friday 30 September 2016 to england.midwiferysupervision@nhs.net

The same email address should be used if you have any queries or questions in advance of submitting your expression of interest.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel made up of members of the National Supervision Taskforce Group. You will be notified as to the outcome of your application by the middle of October.