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02 Jan

Changes to Midwifery Supervision – Piloting the new model

The 31st March 2017 looms the end of the statutory supervision of midwifery. Many midwives, women and indeed supervisors of midwives will be wondering what’s next? What does this mean for me?!

NHS England have set up an LSA national supervision taskforce who are leading on a pilot for the proposed new model of supervision – the A-EQUIP model –“Advocating and Educating for Quality Improvement”.

There are seven pilot sites for the model across England, with One to One being successful in our bid to become a pilot site. We have been warmly welcomed by Coventry NHS trust to complete the bridging course for the pilot and it has been wonderful to meet lots of new people. We all have the same goal of being involved in this groundbreaking change to midwifery supervision.

One to One are excited for the pilot, which officially starts in January 2017 and will run until March 31st 2017, where evaluation of the pilot will be collated and published, along with next steps for organisations.

For the A-EQUIP pilot, the Supervisors of Midwives trained to deliver the content will be known as Professional Midwifery Advocates (PMAs).

There are three main elements to the pilot:

1. Education and Development - aiming to develop and support practitioners with the knowledge and skills they require, and prepare them for appraisal, revalidation and develop leadership skills.

2. Personal Action for Quality Improvement – enabling practioners to make changes that make them more proactive at work, and ensure a safe proactive workforce, therefore enhancing safety.

3. Restorative Clinical Supervision (RCS) – This is a confidential space for practitioners slow down, take time, and restore. It is a space for reflection, thought processing and wind down, facilitated by the PMA. This is a fantastic tool, which is evidence based, showing a reduction in staff leaving, increase in staff morale, less sick leave and helping practitioners to recognise, prevent and alleviate stress. As part of the A-EQUIP training, the PMAs undergo sessions of RCS themselves, and it is a very valuable tool that I look forward to using with the staff.

There is a strong focus on midwives being advocates for women, and much of the role supervisors of midwives played in care planning and supporting complex care will be supported by the midwives within this model. One to One already operate in this way, and the new model will continue to support this advocating and empowering women to achieve their birth wishes.

The pilot sites will be evaluated and the details and further guidance will be sent out following March 31st 2017.

Keep your eye out for further updates and follow #midwiferysupervision on twitter.

Find out more at NHS ENGLAND: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/futurenhs/mat-transformation/midwifery-task-force/

Katie Wainwright, PMA for the Q-EQUIP pilot One to One.

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