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NHS England unveils 6 maternity sites to pilot improved midwifery services

NHS England unveils 6 maternity sites to pilot improved midwifery services

The pilot sites will support midwives across all aspects of their role with the aim of improving maternity experiences and the quality of care in all parts of the health system
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NHS England has announced six maternity pilot sites to pioneer a new model of midwifery supervision, aimed at improving quality of care.

The pilot sites will support midwives across all aspects of their role with the aim of improving maternity experiences and the quality of care in all parts of the health system.

NHS England has said this includes improvements to the overall work experience of midwives, increased job satisfaction, reduced sickness and better staff development.

The new model of midwifery supervision in England tested in the pilot sites comes ahead of legislative changes due in Spring of next year.

NHS England has said they will run a series of webinars and publish commissioning guidance to help the maternity system to be ready for implementation.

The pilot sites will be located at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and Whittington Health.

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, another pilot site, will also work with One to One North West to test the model for independent midwives working across large geographical areas.

The chosen maternity pilots will help to shape the design of the midwifery supervision model and their experiences will pave the way for national roll-out.

The model aligns with the National Maternity Review, which set out wide-ranging proposals to make care safer for women and their babies.

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, head of maternity, children and young people’s services for NHS England, said: “Midwives have a uniquely rewarding, important and privileged role. The new model will be instrumental in providing midwives with a continuous improvement process that builds personal and professional resilience to enhance our quality of care for women and babies.

“It will also support preparedness for appraisal and professional revalidation. These pilot sites will play a significant role in shaping the new model of supervision, and I am looking forward to working with them closely.”

Maternity providers were invited to apply for pilot status in October.

NHS England said successful applicants showed qualities of leadership and partnership working, enthusiasm to test new approach and share their learning and governance and resources.

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