UK first project wins Lancashire midwives national award

on 06 May 2020 Midwives RCM RCM Member Midwifery IDM - International Day of the Midwife RCM Annual Midwifery Awards Awards Global midwifery Clinical academics Education

Two Lancashire midwives who set up an education project in India have won the JOHNSON’S® Excellence in Midwifery Education, Learning and Research Award in the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards.

Professor Soo Downe and Elizabeth Gomez from the University of Central Lancashire developed a project to train experienced midwives from the UK as International Midwifery Educators (IMEs). These are the UK’s first IMEs and are already in India working on the 18-month project. They are training 60 Indian nurse practitioner midwives (NPM) to train other NPMs in India. The project is a collaboration with a hospital foundation in Hyderabad.

The project is part of India’s efforts to establish midwifery as a recognised and regulated profession. This will improve pregnancy care and support the country’s drive to reduce pregnancy related death rates of mothers and babies.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“Too many mothers and babies across the world are dying needlessly for want of the right care and midwives are key to solving this. They save lives and they make a big difference to the health of mothers and babies are and how well they do in pregnancy and beyond. That is why Soo and Elizabeth’s project is such an important. It underpins the RCM’s commitment to support midwifery globally and they are worthy winners of this award.”

A JOHNSON’S® spokesperson, said: “We were so impressed by all the entries in this category, but this entry in international midwifery education particularly stood out both for the scope of the project, and the huge change for good it is already making in India.  We look forward with hope that this model may be used in other areas of the world to improve maternity care, and save the lives of mothers and babies.  Many congratulation to Soo and Elizabeth.”

The RCM is announcing the RCM award winners in the week in which International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on 5 May, and during International Year of the Midwife.


To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].

Notes to editors

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the RCM Annual Award event due to take place on 5 May was cancelled. For more information on the RCM Annual Awards visit

For information on international Day of the Midwife see For information on international Year of the Midwife see

JOHNSON’S®, an Alliance Partner with the RCM since 2004 is proud to work with the RCM, supporting midwives in their work to care for mothers and babies. JOHNSON’S® partnership with the RCM is highly valued and we are pleased to be able to sponsor these awards celebrating the hard work and dedication of midwives. For more information about JOHNSON’S®, visit the RCM website at

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