The RCM’s (2010) Position Statement on Maternity Support Workers states that the introduction of support workers: “should be within a clear framework which defines their role, responsibility and arrangements for supervision” (page 1). Too often as the Final Report of the Midwifery 2020 programme (2010) and the Kings Fund (2011) have noted the development of support workers in maternity services, particularly in England, can be ad hoc and inconsistent.
On the 21st July 2011 a workshop was held at the RCM the aim of which was to reach, where possible, a consensus on the tasks and responsibilities appropriate for maternity support workers (MSWs) to undertake and those that are not. Workshop attendees were initially asked to complete a survey that listed 96, general, care of the woman, care of the baby, public health and theatre tasks that MSWs might perform. The survey items were based on a review of the following education programmes along with feedback from the RCM’s internal MSW Group: