Former Scottish Chief Midwife awarded national honour

By Former Scottish Chief Midwife awarded national honour on 08 November 2021 Midwifery Midwives Education RCM Annual Midwifery Awards RCM President Scotland RCM Fellowship

Scotland’s former Chief Midwife, Professor Ann Holmes, has received a prestigious Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Fellowship for her contribution to midwifery. She received her Fellowship at the RCM’s Annual Awards on 27 October.

Prof Holmes’ road to prominence started when she qualified as a midwife in 1986, rising through the ranks to become Scotland’s Chief Midwife in 2012. Along the way she worked across many areas of midwifery, including on labour suites, in the community, on maternity wards and research in and around Glasgow. In 2000, she led the way in becoming Scotland’s first consultant midwife with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, working in that role for over ten years.

Key achievements were developing the public health role of midwives and creating maternity service pathways to support women having the right care, by the right professional, at the right time. On top of that she worked clinically two days a week, was Local Supervising Authority Officer for six years and also led the Scottish Government’s major Keeping Childbirth Natural and Dynamic programme.

Professor Holmes, said: “I am honoured and humbled to receive this Fellowship from the RCM. Throughout my career I have been privileged to work with many inspiring people, including women, midwives, obstetricians and a range of other colleagues involved in maternity services, education, regulation or research across Scotland and the UK.  Working effectively together has enabled real innovation and improvements in care and the RCM has been a key partner throughout - that's what makes this Fellowship so special for me, thank you.”

Among her many other successes was developing a system to enable pregnant women to hold their own maternity records in Glasgow, which led to creation of the Scottish Woman Held Maternity Record, the first in the UK. She also led the development of an employer- led model of clinical supervision, which has been implemented for all midwives across Scotland. More recently, she was instrumental in developing and rolling out Scotland’s Best Start policy, outlining reformed maternity and neonatal care and services which place women and families at their heart. Professor Holmes also had UK wide roles including serving two terms as a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Midwifery Committee.

Rebeccah Davies, President of the RCM, said: “Ann has been a pioneer for midwifery in Scotland and the UK. She is an incredible advocate for women and as a leader of midwives she is an example to us all. She has achieved so much in highlighting the importance of good maternity care in practice and on the ground programmes to make that possible. We in the profession owe her a great debt for the work she has done, what she has achieved for the RCM and for women.”


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

Notes to editor

The RCM Fellowship is given to midwives who have shown exceptional leadership and deliver excellence in practice, education, or research For more information on RCM Fellowships visit


The Royal College of Midwives (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.