The government is pledging to separate supervisors of midwives’ responsibilities in a bid to provide improvements to maternity services and healthcare.
Currently, supervisors of midwives have a duty to investigate incidents on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, as well as encourage development and support other midwives.
However, the government is now looking to separate supervisory and regulatory roles of supervisory midwives, which will be the biggest change in 113 years when the regulations were first introduced.
The aim, according to The Guardian, is to improve maternity services and reflect modern healthcare practices.
The Department of Health has said that it will work with chief nursing officers to develop a new system.
In response to changing midwifery regulations, NMC chief executive and registrar, Jackie Smith said: “In the interests of public protection and patient safety, the regulator must be in control of regulation carried out in its name.
“We have been pressing for this change following recommendations that the NMC should have direct control of regulatory decisions about nurses and midwives.”
It has been reported that senior midwives have conflicting roles, and by separating them could mean improved care for women and babies.
So far, the government has only pledged to change the 113-year-old regulations and have not published anymore details.
“The RCM hopes that this work is completed quickly and that firm commitments are made to maintaining aspects of this vital support system, which aim to ensure midwives can provide high quality care,” RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick added.
The proposed changes come shortly after plans were revealed to introduce revalidation as part of the 3-year-renewal process for midwives and nurses.
Revalidation will be carried out where the employer confirms a midwife has complied to The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses and Midwives. This is expected to come into force in spring 2016.
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