Immediate review of midwifery regulation

Date:30/01/2014

The NMC Council yesterday agreed to undertake an immediate review of midwifery regulation to improve public protection.

The review follows a recent report by the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) which found that midwifery supervision failed to identify poor midwifery practice following the deaths of three babies and a mother at Furness Hospital.

The NMC Council accepted, based on the findings in the Ombudsman's report, that there is a structural flaw in the framework for midwifery regulation. The NMC Council was pleased to see that the Ombudsman's report noted that midwifery supervision may have real merit but the structure for investigation and regulation needed an urgent review.
 
The review will initially address the specific findings of the PHSO report before looking at the strengths and weaknesses of supervision and its place in the statutory framework. It will consider the effective and proportionate regulation of midwives and will involve organisations across the UK.
 
Supervisors of midwives have a statutory regulatory role, but they also support and guide midwives and provide help and advice for parents.