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£1m funding available to boost delivery of the HEE National Maternity Support Worker competence, education and career framework

15 July 2020

Health Education England is today inviting Local Maternity Services (LMS) from the across the country to bid for funding to support the education, training and development of Maternity Support Workers (MSW) in their area.

Maternity Support Workers assist with caring for women, babies and their families throughout their maternity journey, working specifically to create safe environments that enhance service delivery and promote the health and wellbeing of those within maternity services.

Local Maternity Services can apply for up to £7350 per Maternity provider Trust to cover the costs of scoping work such as reviewing their current maternity support workforce and assessing staff training needs.

This is a one-off opportunity to seek financial support to facilitate the first phase of the implementation of the MSW framework as part of the national roll out. All funding will be allocated within the current financial year.

Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said:

Maternity Support Workers make a vital contribution to the delivery of care for women and their babies. This work is important to tackle the wide variation across the country in their education and training and how they are deployed so it is important that the same model of care is used in all areas.

It will allow us to make sure the education and training is consistent across the country and provide a career pathway.

Professor Jacqui Dunkley-Bent OBE, Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England and Improvement said:

Through the implementation of the framework, the role of the MSW will become more defined and consistent across England, widening participation within the profession and helping to ensure that women and their babies receive safe and personal care and experience

Birte Harlev-Lam,  Executive Director for Professional Leadership at the Royal College of Midwives, said:

MSWs are often the unsung heroes of maternity care, but this announcement underlines just how crucial they are. This is another positive move to support their education, training, and competencies. We have a national framework for their training, we now need to see services across the country using and implementing it.

Published last February, the HEE National Maternity Support Worker competence, education and career framework provides national job definitions and clarity on the role of the MSW including detailing the skills and competences required to do the role and highlighted the opportunities available for both individuals starting the career pathway as an MSW and for experienced, existing MSWs who wish to, to advance their careers including access to apprenticeships.

The implementation of the framework will ensure that MSWs will achieve a standardised level of education and competency required to carry out this vital role. The role of the MSW will then in turn become more defined and consistent across England, ensuring that women receive high quality care provision.

An electronic resource toolkit will be developed to support the implementation, alongside a Webinar which will take place on the 20 July 2020. 

Further information on how to bid, the Webinar and the toolkit can be found at  https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/maternity/developing-role-maternity-support-worker/boosting-delivery-hee-national-maternity-support-worker