This in turn led to the NMC commissioning the King’s Fund to undertake a review of midwifery regulation.
The recommendations from these reports agreed that the system of statutory supervision and regulation should be separated and the NMC should take direct control of all regulatory activity. As a result, the statutory supervision of midwives was removed from legislation in March and the function of the local supervising authority and role of supervisor of midwives was discontinued.
To ensure a robust system of non-statutory clinical supervision was in place, NHS England established a taskforce, to develop a new model of clinical supervision for midwives.
I was part of this taskforce and worked in partnership with midwives, staff and women to develop a model that responded to their requirements. This engagement involved over 2,400 people and resulted in the development of A-EQUIP Advocating for Education and Quality Improvement.
The new model aims to facilitate a continuous improvement process that values midwives, builds their personal and professional resilience and contributes to the provision of high quality care.
Through restorative clinical supervision midwives will be given space to physically and mentally slow down through a process of discussion, reflective conversation and open and honest feedback.
This approach has been found to reduce stress, and improve morale and inter-professional relationships.
I believe the taskforce faced the challenge to the midwifery profession in a robust, professional and responsive way and produced an excellent model which has the potential to really impact on the lives of midwives and the experience of women using maternity services.
Importantly, the model has been designed to be transferable to other professions and interest has already been expressed from nurses and safeguarding leads.
Implementation and evaluation will be rolled out across 2017-18.
I encourage all midwives and nurses to engage with the A-EQUIP model and, like many other midwives in England, discover the benefits and advantages of it.