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Local Supervising Authority Midwifery Officers Forum UK

Protecting the Public through the Statutory Supervision of Midwives

About Us

Local Supervising Authority arrangements differ across the United Kingdom. In England the LSA is the Commissioning Board (NHS England), in Scotland they are the Health Boards, in Wales the Health Inspectorate and in Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency.

Each LSA has an appointed LSA Midwifery Officer (LSAMO) to carry out the LSA function. They are all practising midwives with experience in statutory supervision and provide a focus for issues relating to midwifery practice within each area. They also contribute to the wider NHS agenda by supporting public health and interprofessional activities at Strategic Health Authority, Board, Inspectorate or PHA level.

The role of the LSAMO is unique: it does not represent the interests of either the commissioners or providers of NHS maternity services. Regular contact with all supervisors of midwives and with the UK forum of LSA Midwifery Officers ensures that they have detailed knowledge of contemporary issues.

Each LSA is responsible for ensuring that statutory supervision of all midwives, as required in the Nursing and Midwifery Order (2001) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) Midwives rules and standards (2012) is exercised to a satisfactory standard within its geographical boundary.

The functions of the LSA, as discharged by the Midwifery Officer include:

  • providing a framework of support for supervisory and midwifery practice
  • receiving intention to practise data for every midwife practising in that LSA
  • ensuring that each midwife meets the statutory requirements for practice
  • accessing initial and continuing education and training for supervisors
  • leading the development of standards and audit of supervision
  • determining whether to suspend a midwife from practice, in accordance with Rule 14 of the Midwives rules and standards (NMC 2012)
  • investigating cases of alleged misconduct or lack of competence
  • being available to women if they wish to discuss any aspect of their midwifery care that they do not feel had been addressed through other channels

Each LSAMO compiles an annual report for the NMC, in accordance with Rule 13 of the Midwives rules and standards (NMC 2012), which outlines supervisory activities over the past year, key issues, audit outcomes and emerging trends affecting maternity services. This report is signed off by the LSA and is available to a wide range of stakeholders, including all Supervisors of Midwives, to facilitate effective commissioning and delivery of maternity services.