2024 RCM President Candidates

Voting is now open for the election of your RCM President

The election for the RCM President will take place from 3 - 24 June

Please read the information made available below and via your unique email before you vote

Toni Wood

Antonita Wood RGN RM
RCM WPR Branch Chair
Staff side vice chair

The spotlight of media and public attention still remains on maternity services, and as a practising midwife and an RCM activist I am committed to working towards the RCM strategy for safe care. 

I became a RCM Workplace Representative in 2016, and, alongside my clinical practice, have represented members across the region who have needed personal and union support in dealing with a range of often complex issues. I have attended both the Welsh TUC Congress and the National TUC Congress where I presented a motion around the excessive, unpaid hours midwives and MSWs have reported working. Being a part of the collective of union organisations has allowed me to see the work that the RCM is doing to ensure its strategy for safe care is delivered at the highest level.

I became part of the national network of workplace reps for the UK, and joined the RCM delegation presenting to the pay review body. This shows my commitment to working with the RCM to influence change. 

At my heart I am still the same, passionate midwife that started 32 years ago. I have worked in a variety of settings including hospital and community and have loved my career and if elected President the experiences I have will allow me to ensure that the voices of midwives and MSWs can be positively heard. . I believe I have the qualities that the RCM are looking for in their next president and will work hard to support the board.

 

Elanor Ritchie

Eleanor Cormack Ritchie

All my working life has been spent in the NHS. I started my journey as a nursing support worker in the Highlands of Scotland before completing my Registered Nurse training in Aberdeen. 

My long-held dream of being a midwife became a reality when l completed my shortened Midwifery BSc Honours programme at Coventry University & Warwick Hospital.

My first Band 5 post was at Luton & Dunstable maternity unit. A unit that has developed, educated and allowed me to grow, before finally becoming a Band 7 team leader.

I have been a RCM steward since 2012 adding Health & Safety to my Trade Union portfolio over 4 years ago. For the past 3 years, l have been the Deputy Staff Side Chair within the organisation.

My experience working as a midwife and RCM activist has enabled me to gain an overview of the pressures in maternity services. Despite the enormous strain, our wonderful highly skilled workforce are providing the best care they can in difficult circumstances to birthing people & their families.

I am a strong advocate for cultural change within maternity services that will improve the environment for all.

Jointly, I have been recipient of a Caring for You RCM Award for the compassion and care provided to staff.

l would continue to raise the issues close to the membership including flexible working, recruitment, retention, pay issues & menopause friendly policies.

I have the energy, passion and enthusiasm to be the RCM President and if I was fortunate enough to become RCM President, it would be greatest honour of my career.

As a reliable individual, I am committed to making a difference and being there to champion those who need it.

Gillian Morton

Gillian Morton MBE

As a deeply passionate midwife I have devoted my career to improve maternity services for women, birthing people and their families. It is my belief we must support and encourage midwives and maternity care assistants, to succeed in today’s very difficult and sometimes unrelenting climate. 

Having worked across all areas of midwifery, most of my clinical practice was  centered around labour ward and integrated midwifery teams. I am a strong advocate for partnership working, having learned and refined my leadership skills through my time as an RCM representative.

I have held a number of senior leadership roles, where, along with midwives and maternity support workers, we developed alternative models of midwifery care and made available more midwife led, person centered services. 

We are pivotal to the creation of family wellbeing, and together we bring the added values that the UK population requires. We must reclaim our role as holistic practitioners. It is only by listening to each other and agreeing how to take our profession forward, that will we get to where we need to be. That requires finding new and innovative ways to communicate and care for each other, as well as finding the time for training and education to ensure our practice continuously improves whilst increasing our career opportunities within maternity services.

It is imperative we own our agenda, regardless of which role we occupy within the profession. Leadership is definitely not a badge, being our best self, each day is hard, but we share a passion for what we do.

It would be a privilege to be chosen for this role and I would do my utmost to represent our profession and raise our profile at every opportunity.  I would be a strong and passionate president working for the benefit of midwives, maternity support workers, women, birthing people, and their families. I would undertake this role with pride enthusiasm and a bit of humour.

Kathryn Murphy

Kathryn Murphy

It is an enormous privilege to seek election as the RCM President. It seems like only yesterday; I joined the NHS and became a Midwife. My clinical career progressed to the role of Consultant Midwife enabling me to be grounded, in the core functions of, expert clinical practice and leadership, with a responsibility for enhancing & developing midwifery care, whilst ensuring a good experience and positive outcomes for families. Skills which coupled with a knowledge of education and workforce enabled me to later become a HOM.

Through joint appointments with HEIs I have influenced curriculum design and the environment of learning, on behalf of our student midwives. The northwest has a large diverse population and a strong history of Midwives and MSWs from BAME backgrounds, I have worked collaboratively with the RCM, local communities and HEIs on an engagement strategy, publishing a book to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in midwifery.

As the DOM voice at one of England’s largest organisations, I work strategically influencing decision making, and guide thinking. I bring an enhanced portfolio as a high achiever with a fundamental belief in the values of high quality, safe care. Throughout the pandemic I established close relationships with the RCM and its CEO to seek to influence at the England’s highest level. I have also been honoured to work with our Royal Patron.

The last year has been challenging for many across our 4 countries, I am committed to showcase what is great about midwifery and rebuild confidence for our families in our profession. As President I would seek a culture where differences of opinion and debate are encouraged, and our 4 countries rich diversity is celebrated in our unity. I would be extremely proud as president to be your ambassador of midwifery

Nicky Clark

Nicky Clark

started my midwifery journey in 1984, working in all areas of midwifery practice and moved into midwifery education in 1990.I have worked in various education institutions at both national and international levels, I have held senior management and leadership positions and I have extensive external consultancy experience. I have worked in different work settings, in different countries, and through many organizational changes and challenges.

I was awarded the Chief Midwifery Officers Gold Award in March 2020 for outstanding services to Midwifery.

Compassionate and cultural competence in midwifery is essential. Upholding civility and respect, professionalism and pride reflect my personal values.

I am currently the Lead Midwife for Education at the University of Hull, and the elected Chair of the Lead Midwives for Education strategic reference group (UK). As Chair, I represent the views of the group as a recognised stakeholder group when new initiatives or developments are being consulted upon. To understand midwifery governance across the four countries of the United Kingdom is vitally important for equality and equity of provision, as well as the international perspective.

I work very closely with practice partners, and in a quality assurance role for the NMC.

To be the figurehead and ambassador for the RCM as President would be a huge honour, and a role that I would undertake to the best of my ability. I believe that for midwives, student midwives and maternity support workers, success comes with being passionate, a positive role-model, motivating others to achieve and sharing the vision for the professional status of midwifery.

Thank you.

Sophie Russell

Sophie Russell

In these stormy times, with increasing workforce pressures, low morale, and challenging media coverage, it can be easy to forget that being a midwife, is the best job in the world. Midwifery is a deeply rewarding and privileged role, and given the chance, I would do it all over again. If I am elected, I will do everything I can to ensure that as midwives and MSWs we genuinely feel this immense privilege of our central role in society.

I will not be afraid to be a strong advocate for the midwifery profession, and for the families that we serve.

As your president my top three priorities would be 1) collaboratively working with you all to improve staff wellbeing through improving workplace flexibility, staff retention/ morale and improve learners access to midwifery.

2) Improving equity in care provision. The WHO estimates that midwives save 4.3 million lives per year; we are all part of this. I know that we have not always got everything right, and we need to do more to ensure that all our families have access to safe and equitable care. I will use this platform to ensure that midwives and MSWs are supported to be able to deliver high quality, personalised and safe care.

3) Uniting our membership to achieve these realistic goals. I am always so impressed with the talent and innovation that exists within midwifery. As your president I will support midwives and MSWs to elevate and share these successes to drive further meaningful improvements. I am committed to enabling midwives to unite more than ever to demonstrate our commitment to supporting one another and the women and birthing people that access our services.

Independent Scrutineer

Civica Election Services Ltd, 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW has been appointed by the RCM to carry out the functions required under legislation regulating trade union elections.

Voting in the Election

The election is scheduled to take place from 3 - 24 June 2024. 

Voting will take place via electronic ballot. Further information and access to the voting site is contained within your personalised CES despatch email

If you are experiencing any problems registering your vote or have not received your email please email [email protected] (subject line: Royal College of Midwives - Election of the President)

RCM members who vote in the election will be free to vote for the candidates of their choice. 

Who can vote in the elections

Associate - (only eligible for member’s that are in their 1st year of this band)
Fellow
Full joint agreement
Maternity support workers
Maternity/Parental Leave (not eligible for Students)
Newly qualified midwives
Retired (only eligible for member’s that are in their 1st year of this band)
*Special Cat Associate (please see below rule)

RCM Rule:

*Special category associate members of the RCM are Midwives who are full members of the RCN.* Special category associate members may vote at general meetings and vote for the election of members of the RCM Board (until the first anniversary of becoming special category associate members if in full membership prior to entering the category).

 

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