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Maternity Care

Best Start Leadership Programme

The Best Start leadership programme for midwives and looked after children's nurses provided leadership support for 200 health professionals from 2012 - 2016.

Best Start Leadership

Current Scottish Government maternity policy requires effective local midwifery leadership to deliver implementation and achievement of our national quality improvement aspirations for maternity care in Scotland.

This innovative leadership development programme, funded by the Chief Nursing Officer at the Scottish Government has been run by NES since September 2012.  Originally called Delivering Quality through Midwifery Leadership, the programme now includes looked after children's nurses as well as midwives.    

The programme  provided between 40 and 60 participants each year from all over Scotland with a structured course of leadership education, support and development through three key approaches:

  • Attendance at national educational and networking events
  • Initiation development and evaluation of a local quality improvement project
  • Participation in 1:1 telephone coaching from experienced leadership consultants.

The programme is open to all levels of leaders from band 6 to band 8.

NES provided supplementary support for the cohorts by setting up an online Community of Practice, assisting with project development and providing advice as required.

For each year of the course being run, a pre-programme questionnaire has been carried out with the cohorts which identified their learning needs in relation to leadership.  Additionally, an external independent evaluation of the Leadership Programme, as a whole is commissioned.

The evaluation reports can be accessed at the links at the bottom of this page.  The reports identify that the programme is very well received by all of those involved. Participants  report increased confidence in themselves as leaders and greater knowledge and skills. The participants' managers identify greater confidence among staff following the programme and that positive tangible improvements in services have been achieved through delivery of the local stretch projects.

 Project Contacts

Educational Projects Manager, Mary Ross-Davie
Project Co-ordinator, Hayley Christie