Raising the next generation of midwifery leaders

22 April 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 4


Midwifery leadership is vital for good maternity care. The new NHS Regional Clinical Fellow Scheme offers early career midwives a pathway into leadership.


By Dr Emma Mi

Clinical leadership has a positive impact on quality of care, patient outcomes and experience (Jiang et al, 2009; Veronesi et al, 2013). It improves organisational performance, and it is associated with higher staff morale, retention and support for reforms (Sarto and Veronesi, 2016). To deliver safe, high quality maternity services, effective midwifery leadership is essential (National Maternity Review, 2016).

Evidence shows that experiential and work-based learning are among the most effective interventions for leadership development (Mianda and Voce, 2018). The new NHS Regional Clinical Fellow Scheme, which offers midwives the chance to take time out from their clinical role to work within health service leadership, is an avenue for this. It provides unique opportunities to learn leadership skills through enquiry and practice.


Midwifery leadership in the spotlight

In common with other national maternity reviews, the recent Ockenden review (2020) of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust highlighted leadership issues as a key factor affecting care. Failures in challenging poor workplace culture and learning and quality improvement were seen.

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