Congratulations to Professor Lesley Page who has been elected as the new President of the RCM.
Lesley will be taking over from Liz Stephens, our current President, from 2nd April 2012 and we look forward to working with her.
To read Lesley's biography
Click to read the official Election of President letter and the full voting report .
Thank you to all other candidates for taking part.
Press Release -
The RCM elects midwife and international academic with 50 years’ NHS & international experience as new president
Lesley Page, who was the first professor of midwifery in the UK at Thames Valley University and Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, has been elected as the new president of the Royal College of Midwives. She is a renowned international academic, advocate and activist for midwives, mothers and babies with more than 32 years’ midwifery experience. Her accomplished career has encompassed clinical practice, management and leadership, academic and policy work. She has also practised midwifery in the community, hospital and home birth settings and continues to practise in Oxfordshire.
Professor Page said: “I am a midwife’s midwife and know that in order to support women and their families midwives themselves need to be supported and nurtured. I have also been a supervisor of midwives and expert witness, so I can understand and empathise with the most difficult situations that midwives may face on the frontline when things go wrong.”
Professor Page is currently on clinical attachment at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Cotswold Maternity Service, and has more than 37 years experience in the NHS. She is also a visiting professor at King’s College London, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney. She has worked and lectured in 13 different countries. Throughout her extensive academic career, Professor Page has continued in clinical practice and is an active midwifery practitioner. Since September 2011, she has been a member of the RCM’s Board, its governance body. Her book “The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice” (co-edited with Rona McCandlish) has been an influential text for midwives around the world, and has been translated into French and Japanese.
Professor Page will take over from out-going President Liz Stephens on 2nd April. She will be inaugurated at the RCM’s Annual Event in York (14th June). She takes up the reins of office as the profession faces staff shortages and the RCM is campaigning for 5,000 more midwives. Other key issues are concerns about attacks on pay and pension, and a lack of jobs for student midwives.
Commenting on the main issues facing midwives and the college, she said: “There could not be a better time to be RCM President. There are, of course, challenges, for example, in most places there are not enough midwives employed to run a good maternity service. Care is complicated, adding pressure to services that are already overstretched. The normal birth rate is too low and the (medical) intervention and caesarean section rates are too high. There is not always a genuine choice of place of birth for mothers wanting home birth; or for midwives a choice of where to practice, such as in MLUs or caseload practice. This is not good for midwives, and is certainly not good for women babies and their families. But, there are also tremendous opportunities for midwives to work to meet these challenges.”
She added: “I want to continue to stay in touch with midwives and members of the RCM, especially through using social media, such as Facebook, so that I can continue to understand their aspirations, as well as their frustrations about the profession. We cannot work in isolation, and I want to be involved in active collaborative work with other professional organisations and patient or service user groups. My aim has always been – and will always be - to develop woman-centred care and rewarding and meaningful work for midwives. I am determined to achieve this for our members and to make a difference.”
Speaking of Professor Page’s election, the RCM’s Chief Executive Cathy Warwick said: “Lesley led an innovative and ground-breaking campaign and we were impressed by her use of social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to reach and engage with members. She will bring extensive international academic and clinical experience to the role. She has worked with us as an RCM board member since September 2011. She is enthusiastic, has a strong work ethic and holds passionate and compelling views about the future of midwifery and the RCM. She is a natural leader and advocate for our members.”
Margaret Brock, Delivery Suite Manager, Women's Centre, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, who has known Professor Page for 25 years, said: “Knowing and working with Lesley over the years has been an inspiration. She sets a great example for midwives by maintaining clinical skills alongside her academic career, enabling a real understanding of the challenges of current-day midwifery practice, while constantly seeking new ways of providing care within the context, and challenges, of current day health economics. She has always focussed on giving women a meaningful pregnancy and birth experience, which encourages a belief in themselves and the midwifery professionals involved in delivering care.”