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Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for midwives

HEE is working with partners to provide a system-wide response to COVID-19

Our role has been to support students to continue and/or complete their studies and remain on their education programmes. We are helping implement the NMC’s emergency standards that allow students to stay on their programme and we are playing a key part in linking universities and practice learning partners. In this unprecedented time, we’ve all had to adapt very quickly - we are listening to you, valuing your input and most importantly adapting our ways of working based on feedback from you.

We are making sure you have the most up to date information and guidance and on this page you will find a number of key resources along with links to partner websites.


We would like to thank all those students who have been able to come forward to support our services over this challenging time.

Your valuable contribution supporting patients and clinical teams is hugely appreciated.

At the outset of the pandemic, we committed to ensure that we would support students to complete their studies and to be ready to join the NMC register. We are now looking at the transition back to supernumerary placements. This will enable students to progress with their education programmes or complete their programme and join the NMC register.

Alongside the NMC, the Council of Deans of Health, NHS Employers and our union partners, we have produced an FAQs document to support this work.

View FAQs document


Case study

Alicia Shirley Burnett, Third-Year Student Midwife tells us how it felt to have to opt out of the extended placement when a family member was shielding, why she started a blog for midwifery students and what she’s learning about leadership and teamwork during COVID-19.

“I absolutely love studying midwifery because I love supporting women in the pre-natal and post-natal period. I feel like I’m finally doing what I’m supposed to do.

[When the pandemic was declared] a family member I live with had to shield. I had to opt out and I felt quite guilty about it.

For the first two weeks I felt as if the world had crumbled around me. I was mourning the loss of the degree pathway I had been anticipating.

[Now] all of our assessments are going ahead. It’s a bit more difficult without the face-to-face contact but our lecturers are so supportive. I can’t praise my clinical practice facilitator enough. If I’m having a wobble, I’ll go to see her, and she’ll support me."

Read Alicia's full case study here.


Deployment of student midwives during the COVID-19 emergency

In March 2020, Health Education England (HEE) published detailed guidance for nursing and midwifery students on how they could support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak, and what this would mean for them. This document has been developed in partnership through the NHS Staff Council and supports the HEE guidance by providing further information for employers on job descriptions and bandings for the potential paid placements that students could be deployed into during this period.

View the deployment of student midwives during the COVID-19 emergency document here.


Useful resources


HEE, NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked alongside the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal Colleges and the Council of Deans of Health to produce this guidance for nursing and midwifery students. The COVID-19 pandemic means we are in unprecedented times with significant pressures being placed upon our health and care services.

This guidance document has been developed to support nursing and midwifery students to understand the impact of the current situation on their learning programme and how they may use their skills and expertise to support clinical services during this time.

The document should be used in conjunction with the guidance published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and in discussions between the student and their higher education institution.

View the Student Support guidance during COVID-19 Outbreak.

On May 1 our panel of experts answered some of your questions, providing advice and guidance. Watch the recording of the webinar on our YouTube channel.

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare has recently added additional learning paths for midwives designed to help the health and care workforce respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The programme entitled ‘Resources for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs Returning to work, being Redeployed or Up-Skilled’ now has a dedicated link and includes specific learning paths for the following groups:

Returning midwives

The COVID-19 programme is free to access for the UK health and care workforce, without the need to register. However, if you would like your learning activity recorded against your user account, please log in or register here

RCM employment advice

NHS E&I guidance for returning nurses and midwives

Join the NMC’s Covid-19 temporary register

Complete NHS England & Improvement’s nurses and midwives return to work survey to help us match your skills, expertise and experience to the right role for you.

E-Learning for Healthcare Resources for Returning Midwives