Statutory Supervision of Midwives

Supervisors of midwives 

Changes to the statutory supervision of midwives will be introduced in 2017 you can find out more on the link below.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-midwife-supervision-in-the-uk

Until 2017 processes for supervision are as below:

There are six Supervisors of Midwives: Gillian Boyes, Kathleen Hamblin, Joyce Reekie, Claire McLaren, Natalie Potts and Hannah Irvine. The Supervisors of Midwives are all practising midwives within NHS Dumfries and Galloway and undertake a variety of roles within the organisation. A Supervisor of Midwives is always available for public and staff . if you need to speak to a Supervisor of midwives they can be contacted through the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary switchboard 01387 246246.

The main function of statutory supervision of midwives is protection of the public.  The information on this page aims to ensure that the public are aware of this function and provide links to more information.   

 Background
Statutory supervision of midwives has operated within the UK since the beginning of the 20th century, when the majority of midwives practised independently or through charities.  Since then, the role and function of supervisors of midwives have been shaped and defined by changes in social policy, professional development and practice.  However, it remains a means of monitoring and supporting midwives’ professional practice to ensure that childbearing women receive care to the standards expected in contemporary health services. 

“In line with the overall purpose of professional self-regulation, supervision of midwives and midwifery practice supports protection of the public by providing good practice, preventing poor practice and intervening in unacceptable practice.”
(UKCC, 2001)

Purpose
The purpose of statutory supervision of midwives is to protect the public and support and promote good midwifery practice.  In fulfilling this remit, it plays a critical role in developing midwifery practice, the profession and the standards and policies developed to ensure the safe, high quality delivery of service.

Midwives are authorised by law to carry full responsibility for mothers and their babies throughout the period from giving pre-conceptual advice, antenatal, intranatal and post natal care, unless there is an emergency or deviation from the normal which is outside their sphere of practice.  In such situations they should call on the assistance of an appropriately qualified practitioner.  It is crucial that midwives are competent to assume this responsibility and are able to maintain and develop their skills, knowledge and competence.  Statutory supervision of midwives gives the necessary support and guidance to ensure midwives achieve and maintain the necessary competence.

Legislation
The current primary legislation relevant to midwives is the Nursing and Midwifery Order, 2001 (The Order) (Department of Health, 2001), which provided for the creation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to replace the functions of the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC), and the National Boards for England Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The NMC assumed responsibility for establishing and maintaining standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses, midwives and health visitors.  The NMC also has a responsibility to establish standards for the exercise of LSA functions.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council 
Link opens in new windowThe Nursing and Midwifery Council is an organisation set up by Parliament to protect the public by ensuring that nurses and midwives provide high standards of care to their patients and clients.

To achieve its aims, the NMC:
• maintains a register of qualified nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses
• sets standards for education, practice and conduct
• provides advice for nurses and midwives
• considers allegations of misconduct or unfitness to practise due to ill health

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, 29 Portland Place, London, W1B 1PZ.

Telephone 020 7637 7181
Fax 020 7436 2924   

Local Supervising Authority (LSA)
NHS Dumfries and Galloway is part of the South East and West of Scotland Local Supervising Authority.  The Local Supervising Authority Midwifery officer is Yvonne Bronsky her contact details and more information can be found at the previous link.