In 1992 Dame Lorna Muirhead became a member of the Council of the Royal College of Midwives and, in 1997, President of the Royal College of Midwives. She served two terms of office, demitting in 2004. Throughout this time she continued to work as a clinical midwife, as she had for over 30 years, on the delivery suite ‘at the bedside’ of pregnant women, caring for all with compassion and skill.
During her presidency she ably represented the Royal College of Midwives and midwifery in many arenas, both national and international, including:
- the Council of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
- the joint RCM/RCOG committee
- the Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee (SNMAC)
- the Women’s National Commission
- the Council of the International Confederation of Midwives
- the Specialist Register of the English National Board
- the Benevolent Fund Committee of the Royal College of Midwives Trust
- the Council of the Kings Fund
- the National Service Framework for Midwifery
In addition Dame Lorna also found time to be a midwifery adviser on Baby Lifeline; a member of the Council of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; national midwifery adviser for St John Ambulance; and the Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside.
Dame Lorna is all-encompassing, sweeping everyone into her circle of friendship, cooking for them, eating with them and sharing her love of life with them. We all have tales to tell of the fun we have had with her, of sharing stories, sharing laughter and sharing food. This love of her fellow man, and woman, has won Lorna respect and affection wherever she goes and midwives everywhere reap the benefits of this.
Her passion for midwives, midwifery, women and their families was acknowledged in 2000 when she was awarded Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to midwifery. In 2001 she became a fellow of the RCOG and was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in the same year.
In 2004, to universal acclaim, Dame Lorna received the inaugural award from the Royal College of Midwives for her lifetime achievement in midwifery.