RCM calls for quick start to select committee maternity panel work

on 11 March 2021 Maternity Safety

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has welcomed the announcement of the Health and Social Care Select Committee (HSCSC) Maternity Panel saying it is a significant move towards holding the Government to account on their maternity promises. The HSCSC announced the four panel members today which includes two senior midwives. 

Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a major step forward in holding the Government to account and making sure that they come good on their promises. The RCM is overall supportive of the general direction of the Government’s maternity policy, but progress is patchy and stuttering. Too often policy statements are grandly announced then quietly forgotten, and we cannot let this continue to happen. We now need to see the panel begin its work so that these issues can be addressed. 

“We are also seriously short of midwives in England and maternity services continue to suffer from under-investment, and both are issues this Government has committed to change. Now is also the time to come good on those promises as well.”

The two midwives appointed to the panel are Professor Soo Downe, Professor of Midwifery Studies at University of Central Lancashire, and Sarah Noble, Associate Director of Midwifery at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

Birte Harlev-Lam added, “This is a strong and balanced panel with two hugely experienced and highly capable midwives on it. We now need to see that work begin quickly and in earnest so that our maternity services are supported to deliver even safer and better care for women.”  


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]

Notes to editors 

For more information on the HSCSC Maternity panel see https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/81/health-and-social-care-committee/news/150582/health-and-social-care-committee-appoints-maternity-services-experts/.

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/