2021 RCM Board Candidates

Voting is now open for the election of your RCM Board

This is an important election. You are voting for the people who will direct and control your professional association and trade union.

Please read the information provided before you vote.

The RCM Board has overall responsibility for the RCM and must ensure that the RCM is viable, properly governed and properly managed.

This election is for Board Members who will take up office on 1 September 2021.

The RCM Board has identified the competencies which are required and this information includes information to help you decide how to vote:

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate demonstrates the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating A:

The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel the required level of competence

Candidate’s election address:

I have been passionate about women’s rights the whole of my life, and birth for over 20 years. If re-elected to the RCM board by you, I will continue to bring this passion and knowledge to the role. Over the last 4 years of being an RCM board member I have felt honoured that you chose me to represent your interests as part of this governance role. The RCM Board is responsible for the overall direction and control of the RCM - ensuring that the RCM is efficient, effective, properly managed, supervised and accountable. Currently I fulfil this duty through my role on the main board, but also by sitting on various committees, including the Investment Committee, The RCM Trust, and the MIDIRS board.

My work background is varied, therefore I see the world from different perspectives. The first 10 years of my career was as a Social Worker, and during this time I also worked as a doula and NCT teacher. I was then called to midwifery.

I have worked in 2 NHS trusts as a rotational and community midwife, and with One to One Midwives as a Caseloading Midwife. For the last 5 years I have used my passion for education, in my employment at Liverpool John Moores as a senior midwifery lecturer where I am currently the Undergraduate Programme Leader.

My varied experiences allow me to represent your views to the board in a well-rounded way during strategy discussions and debate. My current board position means that if I am elected again, there will be continuity on the boards I sit on. This is particularly important in these volatile and challenging times.

We midwives need good representation and governance of our professional organisation now more than ever, with current political, cultural and organisational changes and challenges.

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate demonstrates the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating A:

The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel the required level of competence.

Candidate’s election address:

You have a vote that matters. If elected, I would ensure that together, we promote quality midwifery and standards, support each other individually and collectively and influence change for members, staff and the families we care for.

Why would you vote for me?

Working with families across all demographics in my career has provided me with unique insights to the challenges faced by maternity teams in today’s society and the ever-changing context within which we deliver care. I have also been privileged to see the impact quality midwifery care can have on families and ourselves and share your passion in promoting, supporting and influencing within the midwifery profession.

In my current role as consultant midwife with the London Ambulance Service, I am reminded daily that “we” as midwives and maternity support workers need strong leaders that challenge, support, inspire and pose difficult questions with kindness, integrity and authenticity.

To continuously improve; whilst managing change, has in the last 12 months been the greatest challenge our modern NHS and maternity services have experienced. Whilst we rise to this challenge with courage and pride, we are also encouraged to reflect on the inequalities and inequities that continue to persist and have been exacerbated by the current pandemic. We have seen how vulnerable women and women from a black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) backgrounds have lived a very different experience of maternity care and continue to face increased morbidity and mortality. In our profession it is our duty of care to champion and deliver safe, personal and quality care to all. I view this appointment as a real opportunity to influence change together. If appointed, I will ensure that our diverse workforce, both midwives and maternity support workers are heard, by being available, accessible and accountable to you, the membership

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate does not currently demonstrate the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating B:

The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel a level of competence requiring further development.

Candidate’s election address:

I am a nurse and midwife. I have practiced midwifery for 25 years working in a number of settings including a local maternity service, regionally for London and nationally for Public Health England. I have spent the last two decades working in antenatal and newborn screening programmes. Midwives are essential to the safe and effective delivery of these screening programmes.

If elected I would bring with me a set of specialist skills that I have developed over a number of years. I have a clear vision as a leader, am good at communicating and motivating people to work together to achieve. I believe that one of my strengths as a leader is to provide clarity.

Having worked at a national level in screening I am able to formulate and debate policy. In my current role as head of quality assurance development I am able to take multiple complex pieces of information and data and provide sound judgement.

If we had any doubts before about the midwife’s role; the last year has confirmed that it is absolutely essential in the health care system and as we move into designing integrated care systems this will continue to be important.

I may not fully understand the trade union rules but I am willing to learn, and this would be a great opportunity to do that. I promise to do all that I can to make sure the overall direction and strategic objectives of the RCM reflect the issues that are important to us as midwives and members of the RCM. I will play my part at being your voice on the board.

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate demonstrates the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating A:
The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel the required level of competence.

Candidate’s election address:

I am a registered Nurse and Midwife with over twenty years of experience in healthcare. I am a midwife to my core, passionate about improving safety for mothers, babies, and midwives. I would like to outline some reasons for board membership application.

For RCM members, I will work decisively to ensure that RCM is well-governed and live out its values of promoting, influencing, and supporting members. In a multicultural society where inclusion matters, I will be adding value by bringing my skills and experience to the board. I will advocate for the standardisation of dedicated time for Continuing Professional Development to take place in paid allocated time for members. I will hold the RCM accountable to make sure it delivers on issues affecting its members.

As a senior midwifery manager for over five years, I have experience in effective, strategic planning and setting strategic objectives. I will use this experience to constantly review and improve performance of RCM. I understand both the ground level and management perspectives that affect RCM members in the workplace. This is vital in influencing decisions that will help bring about the changes and stronger focus needed to support RCM members.

For women, their babies, and families. My background as a Consultant midwife-Public Health has exposed me to the benefits of working collaboratively and in partnership with the Local Maternity and Neonatal system, Public Health England, and Maternity Voice Partnerships. Possessing these skills enable me to ensure that the RCM supports members/midwives in driving public health initiatives to improve maternal health through their unique relationship with women and babies. Thereby addressing health inequalities in maternity service. Ultimately, I have the attributes and competencies required for board membership. If elected, I will use these skills to perform my role with commitment, enthusiasm, and integrity.

Statement of the Assessment Panel


This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate does not currently demonstrate the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating B:
The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel a level of competence requiring further development.

Candidate’s election address:

Thank you for this opportunity to stand for election to become an RCM Board member.

My name is Nerys Kirtley, I have been a midwife in a variety of clinical/ management roles since 2006. My journey throughout my career has been exciting, challenging and meaningful, encompassing my passion for the midwifery profession. This passionate drive has led me to making a difference in many areas of midwifery including supporting NQM’s and St/Mws’ out in practice.

More recently, I have commenced a new adventure as a Midwifery Lecturer at Cardiff University where I can further support our future Midwives, also continuing my role as a clinical midwife to maintain competence in the area that I hold very dearly- caring for women and their families.

My midwifery journey so far has given me experience in many roles including collaboratively working with agencies, health boards and universities at a strategic level, becoming a Learning Representative for the RCM and a steering committee member on a leadership programme (WG/ RCM). All of these experiences have led me to have more of an understanding of pressures that face Midwives, MSW’s and St/Mws’ in our modern maternity service.

I believe my committed, tenacious character will bring many elements to the RCM Board and if successful I will endeavour to make certain the RCM will provide the right support you all deserve in this ever changing, wonderful but challenging world of Midwifery, to enable you to provide compassionate, safe, effective care for our women, babies and families. Please vote for me!!

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate does not currently demonstrate the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating C:

The candidate did not demonstrate to the assessment panel an acceptable level of competence.

Candidate’s election address:

I am honoured to have the opportunity to run for board member for the RCM. As a midwife for 21 years, I have experience of working in urban and rural settings in Wales, providing care for diverse communities with a never faltering dedication. I was drawn to the RCM board for their commitment for a member elected team, overseeing the overall direction of the organisation to meet the needs of the profession. It was with this in mind I decided to run for board member, so I can serve the midwifery profession and ensure that midwives voices are heard in the critical matters before us, addressing concerns productively, creating a cohesive team to serve the profession I love.

As a midwife and manager, I understand the turbulent times maternity services have faced, none more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased pressures on staff and resources has been challenging and never have we needed a greater awareness for the state of maternity services, its impact on care we provide women but also on the wellbeing of our Midwives and MSW’s. Raising awareness, understanding these pressures and the adversity faced by midwives and MSW’s is of upmost importance. With this in mind, I commit to voice my view whilst remaining aware of what is best for our midwifery community. I will not hesitate to venture into unfamiliar territory or assert myself when necessary to rigorously assess the performance of the RCM.

My passion for staff wellbeing led me to hold a key, innovative role in instilling the RCM’s Caring for You Campaign into everyday practice. I am determined and committed and I will thrive on new challenges that bring benefits to every member of the RCM. I pledge to be your voice, to support every member and Midwifery as a whole

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate demonstrates the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating A:

The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel the required level of competence.

Candidate’s election address:

I am a midwife with over 15 years’ experience working within a large trust in London. As a leader, I am very aware of the turbulent times that maternity services face in the UK. I have seen over the years that we have increased pressure on our resources, more staff are needed to join the profession, and we need to retain them. I am aware of this, as I continue to work clinically providing care to women, and the women we care for now have additional complexities.

Following on from the Ockenden Review I believe that we have opportunities for transformational change in maternity services. We can achieve this by working collaboratively, collecting best practice from maternity units throughout the UK and developing resources that can be learned from. One size doesn’t fit all, but I am committed in sharing this best practice to ensure that there is support for each other.

As a midwife, I understand the pressures that midwives and maternity support workers are facing on a daily basis. We’ve had years of pay restraint and our units are busier. Raising awareness politically, on the current state of maternity services, is very important. An improvement to our pay is needed and the recommendations from the pay review board should be considered.

COVID-19 has changed everything. Colleagues and loved ones have been lost, and you have given more of yourselves than ever before. We need to look at how we can improve our health, safety and well-being at work so that staff are cared for and they do not leave the profession. I am committed in sharing practice and ideas of how solutions can be implemented, as a well-cared for and valued maternity team will be tangible to all who use our service.

Statement of the Assessment Panel

This candidate completed the RCM’s assessment process for candidates for election to the RCM Board. The assessment panel is of the view that this candidate demonstrates the required level of competence. The assessment panel’s competence rating for this candidate is shown below.

Competence rating A:

The candidate demonstrated to the assessment panel the required level of competence

Candidate’s election address:

I have been a qualified midwife for 25 years, spending most of my career as a community midwife, also very much hands on within the birth centre and postnatal ward. I have worked in Maternity IT and was the lead for a Continuity of Care pilot, giving me a clear understanding of transformation complexities. For over half of my career I have been a workplace representative and have supported members locally and nationally. I have a passion for equality and diversity inclusion and support all members equally. At TUC conferences I’ve given speeches about the need for better services for perinatal mental health, improving training and shortages of midwives. I am a member of the RCM board, I have spent my 4 year term staying loyal to my values. I have spoken for services and for members, currently being involved in the pay review process. The impact of the current climate on Midwives, MSWs, Students and Mothers is close to my heart and central to most of the decisions or actions I take.

The role of the board is that of governance and scrutiny, ensuring the organisation continues as a union to support it’s members, and as a profession to promote the art and science of midwifery. I have been consistent in my questioning, challenging and support to help to ensure that the members are getting the best from their membership. The board members elected me as their vice chair in 2019, a role that I felt privileged to be asked to do, but also reinforced for me that my approach to my role on the board was impactful.

As a board member I pledge to continue to support you and be your voice.

Thank you for your consideration

Voting in the Election

The election is scheduled to take place from 17 May - 18 June 2021. 

Voting will take place via postal ballot. 

Any member requiring instructions to be re-issued or who is experiencing any problems should email our support team -  [email protected].

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

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.

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