A-EQUIP Pilot Sites

A-EQUIP (advocating for education and quality improvement) is a continuous improvement process that builds: personal and professional resilience, enhances quality of care for women and babies and supports preparedness for appraisal and professional revalidation. The A-EQUIP approach aims to ensure that through staff development, action to improve quality of care becomes an intrinsic part of everyone’s job, every day, in all parts of the system.

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 at a stage where we will test the model across six pilot sites in England, asking for their views on how the model works in practice, including feedback on what works well and what could be improved. The six pilot sites, representing the regions across England are:

North

  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Midlands and East

  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

South

  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

London

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Whittington Health

Independent midwifery supervision provider (adjoined to one of the sites)

  • One to One Midwives

Pilot sites will receive a package of in-house support to train a small number of midwives that will deliver the new approach outlined in the model. They will also prepare their organisation for implementing the model over the coming months.

The intention is for the pilot sites to run for a period of four months, with on-going evaluation designed to facilitate rapid learning to enable national launch of the final model by April 2017, subject to the law change.

We received 49 applications in total which demonstrates the enthusiasm and support for the new model. Whilst we can only support six pilots, there are a number of different ways in which maternity providers and midwives can get involved and share their thoughts and views.

We will be hosting two webinars for all maternity providers across the country. The webinars will share the new model and provide useful background and context. It will also cover our plans for national rollout following completion of the pilots. Further information about the webinars will be available shortly.

Get involved and stay connected

There are many ways you can help shape the new, non-statutory model of midwifery supervision.

Watch out for regular updates:

Follow the conversation on twitter and contribute where you can:

Email your thoughts and suggestions to: midwiferysupervision@nhs.net

Contact your local pilot sites and see how the model is working in practice!