Full- Time supervisor of midwives: Is this the future of supervision?
This article provides an insight into the role of a full-time supervisor of midwives (SoM) at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT). The role was the first of its kind in London and was introduced in response to concerns raised by a Care Quality Commission review (CQC) of maternity services in October 2011. The report made 79 recommendations to the Trust, 15 of which related to maternity services. It was evident many SoMs were overwhelmed with day-to-day difficulties, working in their own time to ensure the statutory function of supervision was being provided to all midwives. Day-to-day supervision needed to be improved for junior inexperienced midwives needing support, and the ratio of SoMs to midwives needed to reflect those recommended in Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 2012a) guidance. An explanation of how the role evolved is given, highlighting the challenges and benefits encountered. The article concludes by evaluating the role to date.