What is a Supervisor of Midwives (SoM)?

A SoM is an experienced midwife who has undertaken extra training to become a Supervisor and is accountable to the Local Supervising Authority (LSA).

Who are we?

SoMs for NHS Borders -  

  • Nicky Gammie
  • Shona Finch
  • Angie Turnbull

Supervision of midwives is controlled by statute (law), which has operated within the UK for over 100 years. Its aim is to ensure the standard of midwifery practice protects the interests and well being of mothers. Therefore, the main purpose of Supervision is to enable midwives to give high quality care to both mothers and babies.

In this role they support midwives in their practice, to ensure safe and good quality care is provided for women and their families.

Every midwife that works within the maternity service has a named SOM who they meet with regularly. The Supervisor is not usually the manager for those midwives she supervises. Supervision of Midwives is separate from management of midwives. The Supervisor is someone that the midwife might go to for advice, guidance or support concerning professional issues. The Supervisor must make sure that each midwife keeps her midwifery skills and knowledge up to date, so that the care given to the mothers, babies and families is to the best standard possible.

The Supervisor will monitor care by auditing the midwives record keeping and investigating any reports of problems in practice. The Supervisor will assess if things are done in the best way for the mother and baby. If the Supervisor identifies areas where change or improvement is needed, she will make the necessary recommendations. The Supervisor of Midwives will also make sure that maternity services have guidelines, policies and procedures based on the best available evidence, representing the interest of the mothers and babies.

When are Supervisors available?

A Supervisor of Midwives is available for both midwives and women to give advice and support 24 hours a day 52 weeks of the year.

When would I contact a Supervisor?

Sometimes a woman or family may feel they are not involved in decisions regarding their care. In situations like this, the Supervisor can be approached to give advice and support. For example, if a woman wishes to have a home birth but is unsure how to arrange this, or feels she is not getting the support she needs, a supervisor will be able to help. All meetings and correspondences with a Supervisor are dealt with in a safe and confidential manner.

How do I contact a Supervisor?

By phoning Labour Ward direct on 01896 826897.

What help can we offer you?

  • Listen to any concerns you may have about your maternity care
  • Support you and your midwife to plan the safest place for you to give birth to your baby
  • Discuss your choices with you, when they differ from conventional choices.
  • Help to sort out disagreements about your maternity care in an unbiased and impartial manner

Further information is available at the South East & West of Scotland Supervising Authorities website