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Safe Learning Environment Charter

The Workforce, Training and Education Directorate of NHS England is collaboratively developing a Safe Learning Environment Charter for all learners including midwifery learners.

Midwife with mother and baby

Derived from NHS England’s Education Quality Framework (2021), the Charter will be a solution focused tool, co-developed with stakeholders using evidence gathered from Midwives, Midwifery students and wider professional group students working and learning in the system today. It aims to provide learners, organisations and Approved Education Institutions (AEIs) with a clear and practical roadmap for offering their learners high-quality learning environments, as set out in the Health Education England Quality Strategy and Education Quality Framework standards.

The Charter is being developed in response to the recommendations set out in the Kirkup report (2015) and Ockenden review (2020, 2022) of maternity failings in Morecambe Bay and Shrewsbury and Telford, as well as meet the recommendations set out in The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) and NHS People Plan (2020).  

To inform the development of the Safe Learning Environment Charter, between November 2022 and January 2023, NHS England undertook the first nationally coordinated quality review of Pre-registration Midwifery Education in England. A total of 162 focus groups were facilitated, receiving feedback from over 2,000 active Midwifery students and Newly Qualified Midwives (NQM) and wider professional group learners. Subsequently, the Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE) at the University of Cumbria was commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of the feedback collected and to report on themes, trends, and priorities needing to be addressed.   

What now  

This summer NHSE will coordinate regional stakeholder workshops to co-develop the Safe Learning Education Charter and to identify and share quality improvement solutions in response to the issues raised by learners identified by HASKE. Following this process, the Safe Learning Environment Charter is scheduled to be launched later in the summer.  The regional Quality Improvement Senior Project Managers will work closely with their local stakeholders to develop and implement the Charter across midwifery settings in England, in the first instance. The Southwest region will be a trailblazer site for implementation of the Safe Learning Charter across midwifery and wider professional group settings and the learning from this will be evaluated, shared and translated across England. 

If you or your organisation would like to be involved in this exciting quality improvement work, or have examples of best practice that you wish to share, please contact us here slec@hee.nhs.uk or contact your regional Quality Improvement Senior Project Manager. 

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