Maternity support workers an integral part of the maternity team says RCM as MSW week 2018 kicks off

By Colin Beesley on 08 November 2018 MSWs - Maternity Support Workers

Next Monday (12th November) sees the start of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) maternity support worker (MSW) week 2018. The aim of the week is to create more awareness about the role of the MSW and to celebrate all the work they do to support midwives and maternity services across the UK.

The role, banding and training received by MSWs varies widely not only across the various UK countries, but also in trusts and boards where even  job titles can be different and over the past number of years the RCM has continued to work hard to improve this.

During MSW Week 2018 (Monday November 12th-18th November) the RCM is running study days for MSW members in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

RCM branches, activists and members will also host celebrations in their workplaces with the support of the RCM to celebrate the integral role that maternity support workers play in the delivery of maternity services.

Commenting, Denise Linay Head of Organising and Engagement at the RCM says; “The RCM wants maternity support workers employed in maternity settings to be seen as an integral part of the wider maternity team. That is why over the next week  the RCM will be celebrating the role of MSWs and all the fantastic work they do to support not only their midwifery colleagues, but mothers their babies and families too.

“The role of the MSW and their job title can be quite varied as recent RCM surveys* have revealed, but an important part of their work includes supporting mothers to implement advice given by the midwife on a variety of public health issues including infant feeding.

“Maternity support workers really are a vital element in the ongoing care and support that women require. As with midwifery care, continuity of support from an MSW can also enhance a woman’s experience of her maternity care.

“The RCM is continuing its work with Health Education England to define the role of the MSW and has recently published a scooping report* which presented the findings of a review on the deployment of maternity support roles in England.

“The report contained eight recommendations by the RCM and one of which was a call for national guidance to be produced to ensure consistency in the education and training of MSWs.

“The RCM believes the role of the MSW with the right education and training could be enhanced, which would greatly support continuity of carer and in turn support the delivery of safe high quality maternity care.”

To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].


Notes to editors

On social media: #MSWWeek2018

*Read RCM’s report: The deployment, education and development of maternity support workers in England, A scoping report to Health Education England

Read the RCM survey publication: The roles and responsibilities of MSWs

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at