Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor said:
Our casework found that the lives of mothers and babies could be put at risk because supervisors of midwives have two inherently conflicting roles.
'When things go wrong senior midwives are responsible for investigating these incidents on behalf of the regulator. At the same time they are responsible for the development and support of midwives. As a result safety may not always be at the heart of local investigations and lessons from serious incidents involving midwives may not be learnt.
'We are pleased the King Fund's proposals echo our own recommendations.
'If these are adopted by the NMC, it will lead to more modern and robust regulation of the midwifery profession, enabling the regulator to put safety at the heart of what it does even more so than presently.'