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Maternity and midwifery services

  • Organisations we regulate

This regulated activity covers maternity and midwifery services where they are carried out by, or under the supervision of, a registered health care professional.

Types of service that should be registered for this regulated activity

You may need to register for this regulated activity if you plan to provide any of the following types of service:

  • acute service
  • prison healthcare service
  • community healthcare service
  • doctors' consultation service
  • doctors' treatment service


Organisations that provide advice, support or information related to childbirth and parenting are not included in this regulated activity, so long as the provision of health care (other than that advice, information and support) is not their main purpose.

This means that a hospital provider would not become exempt if providing advice, because its main purpose is health care. But an organisation that is not primarily a health care provider and that provides this advice (such as the National Childbirth Trust) would not have to register, even if the advice is provided by a health care professional employed by such an organisation.


Services by midwives are exempt if all of the following circumstances are met. The midwife must be:

  • acting on their own behalf - self-employed rather than acting for a partnership or organisation
  • providing non-NHS care - not under contract for an NHS service
  • providing services to their patients only in the patients' homes - not as part of a hospital or clinic based service

For the avoidance of doubt, this activity does not cover arrangements that local social services authorities may make under the NHS Act 2006, for the care of pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

Antenatal care or postnatal care

Where antenatal or postnatal services are provided as part of primary medical care, the primary medical provider should register for this activity. Where maternity services are provided as a community or outreach service, the provider is likely to need to register.

The current exemptions that apply to independent midwives providing services in a woman’s own home were expected to be changed by the Department of Health at some point in the future. However, at the time of publishing this guidance, the exemption remained in place. It may be helpful to note that The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014 came into force in July 2014. This Order is relevant to many health care professionals, including individual midwives that meet the exemption set out above.

Response to the Department of Health's consultation on proposed changes to regulations for Care Quality Commission registration.

Last updated:
05 February 2019