Herts midwife receives national midwifery honour

By RCM on 26 June 2018 Research RCM Fellowship

A midwife from Hertfordshire has received a national award from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for her contribution to midwifery. Laura Abbott a senior midwifery lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire has received a prestigious RCM Fellowship. This is an honour given to just a handful of midwives each year.  Laura qualified as a nurse in 1993 and as a midwife in 2000.

The Fellowship recognises Laura’s contributions in many areas including her work and research on the experiences of pregnant women in prison.  Laura also has a keen interest in improving care for women with complex social problems.

Among her many achievements Laura was awarded the Jean Davies award in 2014, which recognises work that tackles inequalities in maternal health in the UK. She also received the Midwives award in 2017 from The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.

Laura volunteers with the charity Birth Companions supporting perinatal women in prison and co-authored The Birth Charter for pregnant women in England and Wales published by Birth Companions in May 2016.

Laura has also been recommended for the award of Doctorate in Health Research from The University of Hertfordshire. Laura’s doctoral thesis is titled  ‘The incarcerated pregnancy: An ethnographic study of perinatal women in English prisons’.

Laura received the Fellowship on 12th June 2018 at the Royal College of Midwives Education Conference in London.

“Laura said: “I am delighted to be awarded a fellowship with the RCM.  I hope that through this honour we can continue to work together to  shine a light on the voices of pregnant women in prison and positively impact upon imprisoned women’s perinatal health and that of her unborn baby.”

Kathryn Gutteridge, President of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The Royal College of Midwives is delighted to award this Fellowship to Laura. Her contributions to tackling inequality are considerable and her work to improve the maternity care of women in prison is a great achievement. She is a worthy recipient of this honour and I congratulate her heartily."

Visit our RCM Fellows page for more information on the RCM Fellowship programme

To contact the RCM Press Office call and for a picture of Laura receiving her award call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.


Notes to editors

The RCM Fellowship recognises individuals who provide exceptional leadership and deliver excellence in practice, education or research.   It is open to RCM member midwives who apply and meet the required criteria.  These include evidence of professional development, exceptional contribution to promoting the art and science of midwifery and the effectiveness of midwives for the benefit of the health of women and their families.  This is demonstrated by professional and personal development of self and others within the sphere of midwifery practice, significant contribution to professional excellence in midwifery through consistent professional excellence in midwifery care and practice, education, research, scholarship, management and any other outstanding development and leadership in midwifery practice, leadership, education or research.  This year’s recipients are:

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.