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Jean Davies

Midwifery training was put on hold for Jean Davies while she brought up three children and trained as an NCT breastfeeding tutor, counsellor and antenatal teacher. She was a founder member of the Society to Support Home Confinements which grew from concern about the difficulties experienced by women wanting a home birth. In the 1970s the Community Health Council in Newcastle researched this issue and Jean was on the steering group. The Community Midwifery Care Project was initiated by Jean in the 1980s, which involved getting funding for four midwives and a social scientist to look at the affect of giving enhanced midwifery care to women living in the most disadvantaged wards in Newcastle. The joint funding between Local and Health Authority reflected the work of the Project. In Cowgate, the estate where Jean worked, the Council provide a house where much collaborative work was done; with Social Services in particular. It could be said to be a precursor to Sure Start. Jean was seconded to the Regional Health Authority to be the research midwife for the 1993 Northern Regional Study on home births. This looked at the outcome of all home birth requests. The results were published in the BMJ. After this she was appointed to the Royal College as a Midwife Advisor, which role was soon amalgamated into that of Regional Officer, a post she held until retirement. She was always involved with the Royal College, as Secretary and Chair of the local Branch and as a Council member. Jean worked with a small multidisciplinary group to introduce ALSO training to the UK. She was keen that a multidisciplinary ethos be a core principle, with midwives, obstetricians and general practitioners having an equal footing as trainees and trainers. She remains on the Executive Board of ALSO and being a Trustee of the Iolanthe Trust provides another continuing contact with midwifery.


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