Liverpool born midwife receives national midwifery honour

By RCM on 19 June 2018 RCM Fellowship Public Health

A midwife originally from Formby in Liverpool and one of the very first Consultant Midwives in the UK has received a national award from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for her contribution to midwifery. Professor Grace Edwards has received a prestigious RCM Fellowship. This is an honour given to just a handful of midwives each year.  Grace who is a Professor of Midwifery Education & Practice at the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa, has been a midwife for 41 years. She initially started her nurse training in 1974 and then trained as a midwife.

Grace has worked across the range of midwifery settings including in the hospital and community, education and research, and global midwifery.

The Fellowship recognises Grace’s contributions in many areas including that fact that she was one of the first Consultant Midwives in the UK. Working in Liverpool she specialised in public health with a focus on supporting women in areas of deprivation, and tackling inequalities that affect pregnant women and their families.

Another honour was her appointment in 1993-2002 as the National Midwifery Assessor for the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, an important national role. Grace became a Professor of Midwifery in 2016.

Her global work has taken her around the world. She established midwifery education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the model of care she developed for midwives there was endorsed by the country’s Government.

Grace is currently working at the Aga Khan University as the Foundation Professor for Midwifery Education and Practice, based in Uganda, but working across East Africa.  She has always maintained her clinical practice and practices at Kawempe Mulago hospital in Kampala, in Uganda.

Among her many other achievements Grace is also an editorial board member and reviewer for MIDIRS, the Practising Midwife and the International Journal of Childbirth, all respected midwifery publications. She is also a reviewer for the RCM’s Midwifery magazine and Evidence Based Midwifery journal.

Grace received the Fellowship yesterday at the Royal College of Midwives Education Conference in London.

The RCM Honorary Fellowship is for people who make an outstanding contribution, or give outstanding service, to midwifery, maternity services, services for women and their families or to the RCM.

Grace said: “Evidence based midwifery, safe motherhood and respectful care have always underpinned my career. Working in Africa has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and my students will be so proud to see this award. I am honoured to become a fellow of the Royal College of Midwives.”

Kathryn Gutteridge, President of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The Royal College of Midwives is delighted to award this Fellowship to Grace. Her achievements are literally too many to mention. She has had a long career and has not wasted a second of it. Her commitment to women, babies and their families is an example to us all, be it here in the UK or in other countries around the world. She is an inspiration to me and I am sure an inspiration to all other midwives.”

Visit our RCM Fellowship page for more information.

To contact the RCM Press Office call and for a picture of Grace receiving her award call 020 7312 3456, or email


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.