Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Implementing the National Midwifery Preceptorship Framework

What interventions or actions did you put in place to support nurses or midwives?
  • Implemented changes in our Preceptorship Pathway including core competencies for each allocated area
  • Completed 30, 60 ,90-day, 6 month and 1-year appraisals
  • Allocated rotations and supernumerary time
  • Allocated study days
  • Commenced monthly (for the first 6 months) Reflect and Learn sessions which are tailored to their individual needs. Including a Restorative Clinical Supervision session run by a Professional Midwifery Advocate
  • Provided 1-1 pastoral and clinical support as and when required
  • All support is bespoke and individualised
  • Group support WhatsApp group


Why did you decide this was important?

Within our Maternity Department Preceptorship Midwives did not have an allocated person.  Through staff surveys and via NHS England funding, a seconded role of Lead Midwife for Recruitment and Retention commenced in 2022.

The role holder is passionate about the midwifery profession, and according to the NHS Long Term Plan retention is key as statistics show that newly qualified midwives either leave or consider leaving the profession in the first few years of qualification.  Although there is no simple solution to retaining staff, it was identified that prior to the role being in place, newly qualified midwives felt their preceptorship period was disjointed and not supportive.

The Lead Midwife for Recruitment and Retention also supports student midwives and has recently held a Midwifery Career’s Day to showcase the Trust.  During this, the role and preceptorship period were discussed with them.  From this day, we have been successful in over recruiting 18 students who have since qualified in September 2023.

Progress is reported back to the Trust’s executive team and the Lead Midwife for Recruitment and Retention is now Vice Chair for the new Trust’s Recruitment and Retention Council as they value the support the role has given to new staff and hopefully this can in the future be replicated for all staff within the Trust.


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How did you go about it?

Supportive leadership was imperative in the successful implementation of this role.  This allowed the role to be developed.  Firstly, the role was about talking to staff to ensure the role met their needs.

Complete regular surveys of Preceptorship Midwives and 1-1 discussions to ensure the role is beneficial to prevent them considering leaving the profession.


How do you know it has been sucessful in supporting colleague's to continue their NHS Career and not leave the NHS?

Prior to recruitment into the role, previous newly qualified midwives had fed back that they had not felt as supported as they had expected.  In a recent evaluation of midwives who have been qualified for 1 year, 100% of respondents reported yes to the question ‘Has preceptorship improved since the Lead Midwife for Recruitment and Retention been in post?’

Since, the role has been in post 30 newly qualified midwives have been supported and 13 of those have now gained their Band 6 roles and all of which have remained with the Trust.


What 3 suggestions would you make to colleagues considering implementing similar change?

1. Ensure your senior leadership team values the importance of the future workforce and their retention within the profession

2. Survey staff to find out what is important

3. Be the consistent support and advocate for staff.  Don’t be afraid to be brave and challenge leadership teams if required