Workforce Project: Safe Staffing, Succession Planning & Retention

What is the project?

In order to provide safe and effective care, it is important the LMNS supports trusts to ensure the right numbers of doctors, midwives, nurses and maternity support workers are available and working. The LMNS works with each provider to complete an assessment of their midwifery staffing establishment requirement in line with NICE guideline NG4 and assure they have a recruitment plan to complete that establishment in the immediate and long-term future.

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

There is a shortage of all staffing areas within maternity and obstetrics across the UK. Whilst the rates of stillbirth are decreasing, there is a need for an adequately trained and staffed workforce to ensure positive birth outcomes, experiences and continue the downward trend in stillbirth rates as per the Better Births goals. You can read more about the National Maternity Workforce Strategy below:

What are the expected outcomes of the project?

The aims of the project are:

  • Ensure an adequate workforce plan is in place so that each provider is taking appropriate steps and making progress to achieve and maintain identified maternity staffing requirements.
  • All trusts must maintain a clear escalation and mitigation policy where maternity staffing falls below the minimum staffing levels for all health professionals.
  • All trusts must develop a strategy to support a succession-planning programme for the maternity workforce to develop potential future leaders and senior managers
  • All trusts must ensure the labour ward coordinator role is recognised as a specialist job role with an accompanying job description and person specification.
  • Work with HEI’s on the breadth and quality of student placements

What have been the successes of the project so far?

  • Each trust has developed staffing models and projections for ensuring they meet safe staffing and recruitment in the future.
  • Each trust now supports two obstetric ward rounds per day as per Ockenden requirements.