Special International Day of the Midwife award for Welsh midwives  

By RCM on 06 May 2022 Midwives RCM RCM Member Wales NHS Wales RCM Wales Education Midwifery IDM - International Day of the Midwife ICM - International Congress of Midwives

Four midwives have jointly won a prestigious prize awarded by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Wales and the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Wales, Sue Tranka. This is the first RCM/CNO Quality Improvement Award which will be presented every year to mark International Day of the Midwife on 5 May.

Nicky Court, Programme Director for the Midwifery degree at Swansea University submitted the entry. She received the award along with Helen Etheridge, Lead Midwife Birth Centre and Labour Ward Coordinator at Swansea Bay University Health Board, Elizabeth Rees, Consultant Midwife at Hywel Dda University Health Board and Susie Moore, Lead Midwife for Education and Head of Midwifery Education at Swansea university.  They won for their work to improve birth experiences for women.

Helen Rogers, Director for Wales at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We were looking for projects that explored new ways to improve care and this deliverd on that. We were so impressed with the way that the partnership worked, bringing together those working in midwifery education, and out in hospitals and the community, to deliver this great project. It highlights the benefits of collaboration to improve services and the quality of care for women. Nicky and all the team involved in this are worthy winners.”

The project focused on supporting women to have more positive experiences when giving birth. One of the key ways this was tackled was by supporting and building confidence in student and qualified midwives. The team focused on ensuring core midwifery skills were at the centre of midwifery practice, with a focus on improving the support for women having a vaginal birth.

Speaking on behalf of the winners, Nicky Court said; “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of Swansea University, Hywel Dda & Swansea Bay 

University health boards. Our quality improvement initiative is something that is close to all of our hearts, and it has been a pleasure working collaboratively with Swansea University’s partner health boards to initiate this project. 

“Our initiative aims to support our students and colleagues in practice to further increase their confidence by putting midwifery skills at the core of intrapartum care supporting physiological birth and ultimately enhancing the birthing experiences for all women wherever they choose to give birth.”

The team developed the project through initiatives such as joint workshops and focusing on enhancing midwives’ training and education, so that they in turn can offer even better support to women.

Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Sue Tranka, said: “I’m delighted to have worked with the RCM to launch this award in recognition of the very important work of midwives in Wales. Being part of a team underpins the role of the midwife and is very much evident in the work of Nicky and the team to improve services for families and for midwives at various stages of the career. I am delighted that these awards will now be held annually on International Day of the Midwife, which celebrates the vital work of all midwives.”

Also, joining the awards for her first engagement as Chief Midwifery Officer (CMidO) for Wales was Karen Jewell.

The RCM have warmly welcomed the appointment of a CMidO for Wales.

Commenting RCM’s Helen Rogers added:

“We are delighted to see a designated Chief Midwifery Officer for Wales. Karen brings a wealth of experience to this role having worked as a Consultant Midwife for many years and more recently with Welsh Government as the led on maternity policy. The RCM has worked closely with Karen throughout her time at Government level and we are very much looking forward to continuing that relationship. There is no doubt that having a CMO in Wales with a unique and experienced understanding of the role of the midwife will strengthen midwifery practice and improve maternity care.”


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


Notes to Editors: 


  • Photo from L-R: Sue Tranka Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Wales, Elizabeth Rees, Consultant Midwife at Hywel Dda University Health Board, Helen Eferidge midwife and Helen Rogers RCM’s Director for Wales.


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 | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team