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Developing the Role of the Maternity Support Worker

The HEE Maternity programme has established a project to develop the role of the Maternity Support Worker (MSW). 


Better Births, improving outcomes of maternity services in England (2016), highlights the need for multi-professional working, breaking down barriers between midwives, obstetricians and other health professionals to deliver world-class safe, personalised care for women and their babies.

Maternity support workers (MSWs) are an integral part of the maternity workforce and play an important role in supporting midwives and the wider maternity teams, mothers and their babies through pregnancy, labour and during the postnatal period.  However, within the current workforce, the roles, responsibilities and job titles of MSWs in England vary widely.

On 27 March 2018, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced that work would be undertaken to develop and professionalise the MSW role. HEE recognises this need and is working closely with partners across the system including the Royal College of Midwives, NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Public Health England, Midwives and MSWs to:

  • Develop a nationally defined and standardised maternity support worker role in England, including the development of a national competency and career framework
  • Scope the possibility of a voluntary register for MSWs
  • Develop new training routes into midwifery through the development of Apprenticeships

This work will not only provide opportunities for talented maternity support workers to develop their careers and strengthen the role within it's own right as a key part of the maternity workforce, it will also widen access routes to becoming a registered midwife.  It will enable employers and the midwifery profession to invest in the development of their current MSWs, attracting new and retaining existing staff to deliver the vision outlined within ‘Better Births’ including the implementation of Continuity of Carer. This provides a gateway to an exciting career and will be accessible to a wide range of individuals.

 

 


This Page was last updated on: 20 June 2018

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