RCM welcomes appointment of first ever Chief Midwife for England

on 13 March 2019 NHS NHS England Midwives Leadership RCM CEO

The NHS has today appointed Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent as England's first Chief Midwifery Officer, a new role with responsibility for leading the development of measures aimed at increasing the quality and safety of maternity care.

Responding to the announcement, Gill Walton Chief Executive and General Secretary at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said;“The RCM really welcomes the appointment of Professor Jacque Dunkley-Bent  as England’s first ever Chief Midwife. This is a significant and vital step towards recognising and strengthening midwifery leadership at all levels in the NHS.  

“The RCM has long championed the creation of such as role and particularly as maternity care was placed front and centre of the recently published NHS Long Term plan; we are delighted that there will now be a Chief Midwife in place to oversee and drive forward these ambitious proposals for maternity services.

“I cannot think of a better midwife than Jacque to take on this role and her varied career as not only a midwife, but also national leader and maternity safety champion at NHS England means that she will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the role.

“The RCM remains focused on improving safety and care in our maternity services, but this cannot be done without quality leadership. The new Chief Midwife is an excellent leader and advocate for midwifery and midwives and we look forward to working with her to improve England’s maternity services for women, their babies and families.”


Notes to editors

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/