The Re:Birth Project Oversight Group draws experience from a broad range of stakeholders, including maternity professionals and clinicians, service users and the charity sector. The values of the group are:

Collaboration – we want to work with everyone involved with or who cares about birth

Inclusivity – we would rather include more voices than exclude

Openness – we are open to any outcome

Listening – we prioritise listening

Evidence-based – we will ensure the process is rigorous and evidence-based





Shirly Cramer

Shirley Cramer OBE 
Project chair


Dr Mary Ross-Davie

Dr Mary Ross-Davie    
Project lead



Dr Julie Rayment

Dr Juliet Rayment
RCM Research Fellow (Re:Birth project)   


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Clotilde Abe
Five X More


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Emily Ahmed
Chair, RCM Maternity Voices Partnership


Mavis Afriye

Mavis Afriye
Community midwife, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust

Maria Booker

Maria Booker


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Franka Cadee
President, ICM



Helen Cheyne

Prof Helen Cheyne
Chair, RCM Professors Network


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Susie Crowe

Professor Soo Downe

Prof Soo Downe


Jo Dagustun

Jo Dagustun
Volunteer Campaigns Team lead,

Association for Improvements in

the Maternity Services (AIMS)

Clea Harmer

Clea Harmer
Chief Executive, Sands

Alexander Heazell

Alexander Heazell
Consultant obstetrician

Angela KerriganAngela Kerrigan
Consultant Midwife


Elizabeth Duff
NCT Representative

Dr Jen McNeill

Jen McNeill
Lead Midwifery Educator

Professor Jane Sandall

Prof Jane Sandall
Midwifery research lead, NHSE

Dr Janice Smith

Janice Smith
Make Birth Better

Maureen Wallace

Maureen Treadwell
Research officer, BTA



Verena Wallace

Verena Wallace

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Trudi Webber
Make Birth Better

 Jo Tanner

Jo Tanner
Dir. for Communications and Engagement




Dr Julie Rayment

Juliet is a sociologist with 15 years’ experience of qualitative research in UK maternity services. Her research work has mostly looked at how organisational and birth culture – ‘the way we do things round here’ – influences how maternity policy plays out in real life. Juliet’s first degree was in Philosophy and Literature, and stories and language have always been at the centre of what she does. She is particularly interested in how the history of healthcare has shaped the way that health professionals think and talk about their work today and what that means in practice.

Juliet previously worked on the Birthplace in England Research Programme, on a study of the organisation of midwife-led units and assessing the feasibility of group antenatal care, amongst other projects. Since 2016 she has worked as a freelance qualitative research consultant for universities and charities, which she is continuing alongside her work on Re:birth.

Dr Mary Ross-Davie

Mary trained to be a midwife in Nottingham from 1992-1995 and then worked in London as a midwife in a variety of roles including core and then continuity midwife, specialist midwife for women with HIV, labour ward coordinator and perinatal mental health midwife.

Since 2004 Mary has lived and worked in Scotland, first as a Sure Start midwife in the rural area of the Scottish Borders, providing additional services and support to teenage parents, women with substance misuse problems and those experiencing mental health problems. 

Mary was consultant midwife in the Borders before studying for her PhD. Her PhD focussed on the positive impact of continuous supportive presence of midwives throughout labour and birth.  Mary has worked in national leadership roles since 2012 and for the RCM since 2016 – first as Director for Scotland now as UK Director for Professional Midwifery. Mary led the RCM’s professional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with colleagues from the RCOG and from across the RCM to produce a range of guidance and briefings to support professionals in providing high quality maternity care during the pandemic.   

Maria Booker is Programmes Director of the charity Birthrights – the UK charity dedicated to improving maternity care through a focus on human rights. Maria leads the charity’s policy, legal and advice work and also Birthrights’ training of healthcare professionals and peer supporters.

Maria was previously UK General Manager of Maternity Neighbourhood (a US based, midwife-led company developing a woman-centred electronic maternity record). Maria also led the development of the website Which? Birth Choice for Which? to its launch in 2014. Prior to that Maria had a diverse 11 year career in the Department for Business including taking two Bills through Parliament and being Private Secretary to the Energy Minister. Maria is also a Maternity Voices Partnership service user rep, and former Chair and Committee member of National Maternity Voices. She also has two school age children.

Clea Harmer

Clea is the Chief Executive of Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity. Sands works to reduce the number of babies dying, and to ensure anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible bereavement care and support whenever their baby dies and wherever they are.

Clea is also currently the Chair of the National Bereavement Care Pathway, Chair of the Pregnancy and Baby Charity Network, Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, and Chair of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance.  With growing public awareness of the issues surrounding baby death and pregnancy loss, and a national commitment to reduce the number of babies dying, she passionately believes that now is the moment when there is real potential to make a difference for parents now and in the future.

Mavis Afriyie is currently a Community Midwife working at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust, based at Queen Marys Sidcup. Prior to her transition to Nursing & midwifery she worked in Project Management.

Mavis is very passionate about race disparities within maternity and keen to support and engage in projects with an objective to reduce this for ethnic minority women and their families.

A recently appointed Professional Midwifery Advocate Mary is keen to support fellow Black & Asian staff members at work by creating Restorative clinical Supervision sessions to facilitate a safe space to support one other with workplace issues.

Mary is also a mother of two boys, aged 16 & four years old, and in her spare time, enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also love cooking - and eating! She is hoping to return to her first love of traveling abroad and city breaks very soon.

Dr Jan SmithDr Jan Smith is a HCPC and BPS registered Chartered Psychologist.  For over 10 years, she has supported clients who have experienced perinatal anxiety, and birth trauma, and also maternity staff who are suffering from burnout, stress, moral injury or psychological trauma. Jan is the director of Healthy You Ltd, an independent psychology practice, and in 2014 she established a birth trauma service to support those affected.  Jan is the Clinical Lead for a national birth trauma campaign, called Make Birth Better, and leads the Parliamentary Working Group for Birth Trauma.  Jan regularly presents at conferences, and trains healthcare professionals and students on PTSD and birth trauma.  Jan is involved in a number of maternity research projects, has a research post at Sheffield Hallam University, and is a clinical supervisor.  Jan jointly established and chair's the ACT in Perinatal Special Interest Group, with the Association of Contextual Behavioural Science. She is an expert advisor for Health Education England (HEE) on perinatal trauma. 

Jan is part of the NHS Leadership Academy and provides leadership coaching within the healthcare industry. She provides coaching, consultancy and mental wellbeing services to the aviation industry. Two of Jan's books were published in 2021.  The first, ‘Nurturing Maternity Staff’ explores ways to create nurturing and psychologically safe environments for maternity staff, and the second ‘Help for the Helper’ provides ways to prevent, and treat post-traumatic stress disorder in health and social care professionals.  Also, The Birth Trauma Workbook:  Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills to Heal Difficult Birth Experiences, is due to be published in 2022.  

Maureen Treadwell

Maureen Treadwell was born in the East End of London and worked as a lecturer/teacher before setting up her own company. She began campaigning for better maternity services in 1982 and has been involved in a number of TV and radio programmes on this issue. She served as an elected Borough Councillor for seven years and has been a member of both MSLCs and Community Health Councils. She worked on the Intrapartum Care Guideline Development Group for  NICE and is  involved in various maternity research projects.

Maureen is currently part of MBRRACE and National Maternal and Perinatal Audit lay advisory groups and is project lead on the BTA MOMs project aimed at reducing adverse outcomes.   She is co-founder of the Birth Trauma Association, an organisation which both supports women who have had traumatic experiences in childbirth and campaigns to improve maternity services. (

Jo Dagustun

Jo Dagustun is Volunteer Campaigns Team lead for the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) and a member of England’s Maternity Transformation Programme Stakeholder Council.

Jo has been active in the maternity service improvement community since 2008 and holds a birth-related PhD. Since 1960, AIMS has been a leading advocate for improvements in UK maternity care. AIMS remains proud of its early role in promoting discussions around whether or not the UK maternity services retain an ability to support those who wish to plan for a birth without intervention (a ‘normal’ birth).

AIMS is keen to work collaboratively with others to promote improvements in the maternity services to better support service users, whatever type of birth they choose. This includes calling for physiology-informed maternity services, as key to high quality personalised and safe care.

Shirley Cramer CBEShirley is the former Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health ( 2013-20) where she was also Vice Chair of the Public Health System Group in England and Chair of People in UK Public Health, a cross Government advisory board on the future of the public health workforce. Prior to this she has been the CEO for national education charities in both the UK and USA.

She is currently Chair of the think-tank, British Future and Chair of the Rare Dementia Support Group Advisory Board at University College London. She is a trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK and a member of the Advisory Board on Health and Care at the Institute of Public Policy Research. She is also a Commissioner and trustee for the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.

In May 2020, Shirley stood down from her role as Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, after seven years at the helm. She has been a voluntary sector leader in both the UK and USA and also a non- executive in both countries. Shirley was previously CEO of the National Centre for Learning Disabilities in New York and in the UK she was Chief Executive of Dyslexia Action for over a decade. 

Alex Heazell

Dr Alexander Heazell is Professor of Obstetrics and Director of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK. He is a Consultant Obstetrician at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. Since completing his PhD in 2008 on the role of placental dysfunction in preeclampsia, his research has focused on stillbirth; his research portfolio includes a profile of basic science, clinical and qualitative research studies to give a better understanding leading to prevention of stillbirth and improving care for parents. He has received over £4M of grant income and has published over 210 research papers and received national and international awards for his work on stillbirth and placental dysfunction, and for improving care. He led the Stillbirth Priority Setting Partnership and was one of the team for the 2016 Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series. He led the evaluation of the NHS England Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle.


Dr Angela Kerrigan

I have been a midwife for 19 years and have spent the majority of my career working in intrapartum care and research. In May 2016 I joined Wirral University Teaching Hospital as Consultant Midwife, with a split remit that focusses on both normality and public health. I am also a Professional Midwifery Advocate, supporting midwives in their professional practice.

My academic career includes my BSc (Hons) degree, MA in Midwifery Studies and most recently, the successful completion of my PhD, graduating from the University of Stirling in 2018, with my thesis ‘Care of obese women during labour: The development of a midwifery intervention to promote normal birth’. I have also published several papers in a variety of academic journals and publications.

I live in Lancashire with my partner and my two children who are four and one.

Elizabeth Duff has held the role of Senior Policy Adviser at NCT for over 10 years. She has formerly had posts as editor of the Royal College of Midwives journal, Communications Manager for the International Confederation of Midwives and Executive Director of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.

In 2015 she was invited to become a member of the National Maternity Review in England on behalf of NCT and chaired the Review’s workstream on personalisation and choice. She now helps drive implementation of the resulting ‘Better Births’ policy through the influence of the Maternity Transformation Stakeholder Council and has focused particularly on recommendation 4 ‘Better postnatal and perinatal mental health care, to address the historic underfunding and provision in these two vital areas'.

She also represents NCT on the clinical reference group of the National Maternity & Perinatal Audit and the Implementation Programme Board for The Best Start policy review in Scotland.

Elizabeth has spoken at numerous national and international maternity conferences, and also written extensively on matters relating to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood.

As Senior Policy Adviser, Elizabeth is a voice for the charity on behalf of new and expectant parents and often speaks on TV and radio, in press reports and interviews as well as contributing to government and other reviews and consultations.