National midwifery awards honour midwives and maternity support workers

on 27 October 2021 Midwifery RCM RCM Member Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Covid-19 RCM CEO Awards Student midwives

The work of midwives, maternity support workers and maternity teams across the UK has been celebrated at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards which took place this afternoon in London.

Having gone virtual due to the pandemic last year excitement was palpable as presenter and musician Myleene Klass took to the stage to introduce each award.

In total there were 15 categories which commend and highlight the best in teamwork and evidence-based midwifery practice and honour individuals who have made a positive impact or contribution to women, their babies, and families.

The RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton, said:

"It’s no secret that maternity services are currently grappling with many challenges so being able to acknowledge and recognise all the high-quality innovative work that midwives and MSWs are doing is so important. Every winner this year has excelled in what they do, their work on initiatives and programmes at local and national level will inevitably go towards improving maternity care and ensure women have a positive pregnancy and birth experience.

"It’s more important than ever for us to celebrate these achievements, to applaud our colleagues and to recognise the excellence in maternity services across the country."

And the winners are:

  • Partnership Working Award
    Dr Sally Pezaro, Coventry University

  • Waterwipes Maternity Support Worker of the Year Award
    Candice Noonan, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Excellence in Maternity Care During a Global Pandemic
    Anne Richley and Claire Dale, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

  • Thompsons Members' Champion Award
    Zoe Meneilly, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
  • Slimming World Caring for You During a Global Pandemic
    Cardiff RCM Branch, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

  • JOHNSON'S Excellence in Midwifery Education, Learning & Research
    Susanne Thomas and Patrice McKenna, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital.
  • Excellence in Bereavement Care
    Sian Ness and Beth Towsey (The Lullaby Team) Mid and South Essex NHS Trust.

  • Pregnacare Student Midwife of the Year
    Beatrice Bennett, University of Nottingham.
  • Innovation in Maternity Care
    Amanda Mansfield and Susan Watkins, The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

  • RCM Race Matters Award
    Fatima Ghaouch and Samukeliso Sibanda, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust.

  • NMC Excellence in Perinatal Mental Health
    Fiona Laird and Mellissa Jhagroo, North Middlesex Hospital.
  • RCM Leadership Award
    Grace Thomas, Cardiff University.

  • WaterWipes Team of the Year
    Lisa Darrah and Sinead McFarlane (SWAN team) Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

  • Midwives' Midwife of the Year
    England - Tania Pearce, England East Surrey Hospital.
    Scotland- Frances Arrowsmith, NHS Highland.
    Wales Sarah Hookes, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.
    Northern Ireland - Susanne Thomas, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
  • WaterWipes Midwifery Service of the Year
    Kathy Murphy, Head of Midwifery and team, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

The RCM also granted four Honorary Fellowships to the College: Professor Ann Holmes; Terri Coates; Dr Kathryn Gutteridge; and Professor Marlene Sinclair



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


Notes to Editors

  • Individual media releases on all winners and categories to follow this release in coming days.
  • For more information on the RCM awards visit here:

Honorary Fellows’ biographies:

  • Professor Anne Holmes - Ann was the first Consultant Midwife in Scotland with a focus on public health and is now the Chief Midwife for the Scottish Government. During her career she was instrumental in supporting Health Boards to appoint consultant midwives to lead service change and to ensure that midwives were the first point of contact in pregnancy, providing midwife led care to low risk women.

  • Midwife Terri Coates - Through her involvement with the television drama ‘Call the Midwife’, Terri Coates has raised the profile of midwifery nationally and internationally, resulting in increased applications to study midwifery. The award-winning drama is now into its eleventh series would never have happened without Terri.

  • Dr Kathryn Gutteridge - Kathryn is immediate past President of the Royal College of Midwives and an independent Consultant Midwife. Kathryn’s career started in the 1970s in nursing however midwifery was always her main ambition and in particular the nurturance of midwifery led care. Kathryn is also practising psychotherapist interested in the emotional impact of childbirth.

  • Professor Marlene Sinclair - Marlene is currently Head of the Maternal Fetal and Infant Research Centre at the Institute of Nursing and Health Research at Ulster University. Marlene’s aim has always been to ensure the best high-quality evidence-based care for people and communities.  She influences through her role on funding bodies in the UK, Australia and Wales. Marlene has been a long-standing member and supporter of the RCM and was for several years, a member of the RCM Council and showed the same dedication to highlighting the importance of research in midwifery education and practice.

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