Your care

Supervisor of Midwives

Every midwife in England is supervised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Local Supervising Authority (LSA). This supervision is in place to make sure that all midwives are working under the rules that ensure that the standard of care women receive is of high quality. It is also to protect women and babies by actively promoting safe standards of midwifery practice. Supervision also provides a mechanism for support and guidance to every midwife practising in the UK.

Supervisors of midwives are appointed by the LSA and they are accountable in their role to the LSA Midwifery Officer. Their role is different to a midwifery manager who is responsible to the employer for making sure that maternity services run effectively. All midwives have a named supervisor who they are required to meet with at least once a year.

Whilst the supervisor is there to provide support to the midwives in their care, the supervisor can also help you by listening and advocating on concerns if you have any about the care you have received from your midwife. Supervisors will talk to your midwife if you are concerned or unhappy. They are there to support and advise you and your midwife in your care choices for example place of birth. They also will be able to create an environment that facilitates effective communication between you and your midwife about your care.

Your midwife may contact a supervisor of midwives if they have any concerns about how best to support you during your pregnancy and labour. An example of this would be if you were choosing to give birth at home and this was not the obstetric team or your midwife would advise due to complications in your pregnancy or in a previous pregnancy. This does not mean that you would not be able to go ahead with your birth choices it would just mean that the supervisor will ensure that you are aware of all possible risks or complications in your choices.

For more information and how to contact a supervisor please follow the links below:

NMC Booklet ‘Support for Parents’

NHS ‘Supervision of Midwives’

NMC ‘Supervisor of Midwives’

Local Supervising Midwifery Officers Forum UK