Supervisors of midwives
What are Supervisors of midwives and what do they do?
Supervisors of midwives (SoMs) are experienced, practising midwives who have undertaken additional education and training to enable them to support and guide midwives and mothers.
They make sure that the care midwives give is right for women, their babies and their families, and that this care will meet each woman’s specific needs. They also make sure that this care is given in the right place by the right person.
How can a supervisor of midwives support mothers?
SoM’s can support and advise mothers regarding their choices in pregnancy and labour, for example where to have their baby.
They can also talk to midwives and obstetricians on behalf of mothers if they need support in discussing their plans for birth.
SoMs aim to create an environment that fosters good communication between mothers and midwives about the care they receive. They help protect the public by promoting safe practice and can investigate any concerns raised about the health, competence or misconduct of midwives.
How can a Supervisor of midwives support midwives?
Every midwife has a named supervisor of midwives.
They act as positive role models for midwives, guiding and supporting them in developing skills and expertise.
Supervisors meet regularly with their midwives to ensure a high standard of midwifery practice is maintained.
Supervisors are independent of the Trust that they work for and have a different role from midwifery managers. They are appointed by the Local Supervising Authority (LSA).
SoMs are accountable to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
What is the LSA?
The LSA is responsible for the organisation, appointment and regulation of supervisors. They produce guidance for Supervisors to help them in their role. Further information can be found on the LSA website.
There is a local LSA Midwifery Officer for each region of the UK – locally this is Helen Pearce.
How do I contact a Supervisor of midwives?
For non-urgent enquiries, please contact us via our Maternity Services Facebook page.
For urgent matters a Supervisor of midwives is available 24 hours a day and can be contacted by telephoning the Labour Ward on 01392 406675. The labour ward coordinator will contact the supervisor and ask her to call you. Midwives may contact their own Supervisor of midwives or the on- call supervisor at any time.
Visit www.nmc.org.uk for NMC guidance on the supervision of midwives and their role in supporting pregnant women.