Presidential reflections

By Rebeccah Davies on 21 June 2024

As the end of her three-year term beckons, outgoing RCM President Rebeccah Davies reflects on the experience and what she’s taking away from it. 

It is three years since I was elected as your President, so thank you for having the confidence to vote for me. As voting for my successor draws to a close, I wish our new President every success in their new role.  

When I reflect on the last three years, so much has happened. The first nine months was a period of lockdown, so it took a little while to get to be able to get out and visit your workplaces. Many first meetings were via Teams but nothing quite matches meeting people face to face. That’s one of the things I will take with me when I pass over the chains of office – the genuine joy and pleasure of meeting so many of you, hearing about your work and about your pride in our College. 

I have always been in awe of midwives and MSWs and fully appreciate the dedication and effort which is required throughout a career. I have learned so much over my working life and still learn when I meet with you and see the successes that you deliver in your places of work, ultimately providing improved care for women, babies and families. This is often not without challenge and personal sacrifice.  

Being your President has given me a wider opportunity to fly the flag for RCM activists. During my three years as President, I have remained in full time employment as a RCM workplace representative and Staffside Chair. This has been very important to me. It has kept me attuned to the work that the RCM is constantly undertaking in advocating for midwives, student midwives and MSWs. This ranges from working conditions and pay, to education and equality. The role of the workplace representative is quintessential to members so they feel supported in the workplace. I was fortunate to attend two TUC conferences, including one as a delegate, seconding a motion on health inequalities. This was a great opportunity to utilise my passion and strengths within my role. 

I have attended numerous visits with our Royal Patron HRH The Princess Royal in England, Scotland and Wales. This has been a huge honour to witness one of our hardest working and knowledgeable royals engage with the members of staff and the public with interest, compassion and good humour. The team in Northern Ireland also made me very welcome when I attended Stormont for the release of the state of the maternity service in Northern Ireland. 

Representing the RCM at various events has been a privilege. In June 2023 I attended the International Confederation of Midwives international conference in Bali with Team RCM. It was an opportunity to showcase the RCM but also an opportunity to see how widely the RCM is respected internationally. The stand was immensely popular with midwives from all nations requesting and taking away materials to share with their colleagues. Attending the conference and the presentations demonstrated the inequalities in maternity healthcare provision around the globe. This reinforced to me that, despite the problems within the NHS regarding the maternity services, pay and conditions and mothers’ experiences, I personally feel fortunate to have given birth to three children in the UK and be cared for by midwives, student midwives and MSWs. 

Thank you for all that you do and continue to do and thank you for the last three years.