Workforce Project: Midwifery Support Worker Transformation

What is the project?

All trusts will be supported to develop plans, approved by the LMNS board, to implement a training programme to upskill Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) in line with HEE’s Competency, Education and Career Development Framework. This framework is currently under review nationally and the deliverables will be updated inline with the new framework.

Why is the project needed and which documents support the project?

Better Births highlighted 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.

HEE has developed the Maternity Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework working closely with a wide range of partners and stakeholders. The framework draws from and builds upon excellent examples of good practice from across the system. 

Read more about the Framework here: MSW_Framework_MayUpdate.pdf (

What are the expected outcomes of the project?

The aims of implemented the MSW Framework are:

  • Mothers and their babies have access to well-trained MSWs who have a defined role within the maternity team
  • Current and prospective MSWs have access to refreshed role descriptions and a more standardised career/development structure that provides opportunities to follow a richer and more rewarding career pathway in the future

What have been the successes of the project so far?

Across the three trusts of Norfolk and Waveney so far:

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn has appointed a Band 4 Lead MSW who has created a MSW Training Passport for progression and upskilling. QEH has also aligned their MSW job descriptions to that of the framework and commenced opportunities for MSW’s to commence a maternity specific level 3 apprenticeship for career development.
  • James Paget University Hospital has appointed a Band 4 Lead MSW to support with MSW training and upskilling. JPUH has commenced opportunities for MSW’s to commence a maternity specific level 3 apprenticeship for career development.
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital remains in the scoping phase of this work.