Vice-Chancellor Prof Susan Lea with Prof Dunkley-Bent OBE

England's most senior midwife celebrates Hull's maternity care

The first Chief Midwifery Officer for England, who has supported hundreds of women giving birth including royalty, visited the University of Hull this week to celebrate the achievements of University staff and the region’s maternity service.

The country’s most senior midwife, Professor Dunkley-Bent OBE, toured the Allam Medical Building and could see first-hand how the University is working to provide excellent resources for students to facilitate better care for mothers and babies in the region. The award-winning Allam Medical Building, which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2017, has transformed the way that the University is teaching the next generation of health professionals, inspiring the midwives, nurses, allied health professionals and doctors that will be the backbone of the NHS and other healthcare organisations.

Nicky Clark, Lead Midwife for Education and co-Head of Department Midwifery and Child Health in the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said: “Midwifery at the University of Hull were delighted to welcome the Chief Midwifery Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement. Professor Dunkley-Bent praised the facilities and advised the student midwives present that they were extremely privileged and fortunate to be taught in such a high quality learning resource.”

The building provides a simulated learning environment – including a hospital ward, operating theatre, endoscopy unit, midwifery-led birthing unit, high dependency unit and resuscitation unit – that enables students to train in a real-life setting, giving them the skills and confidence to transition effectively into clinical practice.

During her tour of the building, Professor Dunkley-Bent learnt more about the University and local NHS trusts’ recent work to drive improvements in maternity care, including the local Perinatal Mental Health service and continuity of care pathways for pregnant women and new mums.

Prof Dunkley-Bent OBE awarding Nicky Clark the Gold Chief Midwifery Officer Award

Professor Dunkley-Bent OBE with Nicky Clark (Lead Midwife for Education and co-Head of Department Midwifery and Child Health in the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences) and Claire Keegan (Regional Director for Midwifery, NHS England)

Our staff who have been presented with these prestigious awards are an invaluable asset to the University, to the region and to the teaching we provide for the next generation of midwives and the research that helps improve maternity care. I am delighted that their outstanding contribution has been recognised in this way Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Dunkley-Bent also met Vice-Chancellor, Professor Susan Lea, (pictured) and presented a number of prestigious Chief Midwifery Officer Awards to University and NHS trust staff. These awards are designed to recognise and reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by midwives in England.

Congratulations to our staff presented with the following awards:

Gold award: Nicky Clark, Lead Midwife for Education and co-Head of Department Midwifery and Child Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull.

Silver award: Catriona Jones, Senior Lecturer in Maternal Mental Health, and Julie Flint, Midwifery Lecturer, University of Hull.

Claire Marshall, Clinical Academic Fellow at the University of Hull and Specialist Nurse/Clinical Lead with Perinatal Mental Health Liaison Team, Humber NHS Trust, was also awarded a silver award but was unable to attend the ceremony.

Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, said: “Our staff who have been presented with these prestigious awards are an invaluable asset to the University, to the region and to the teaching we provide for the next generation of midwives and the research that helps improve maternity care. I am delighted that their outstanding contribution has been recognised in this way.”

Professor Dunkley-Bent said: “The Chief Midwifery Officer Awards celebrate the ways that staff have gone above and beyond to improve care for women and their babies, as well as their contribution to the profession of midwifery as a whole. I was extremely proud to hear about the amazing work that has taken place and honoured to have the opportunity to present these awards.”

Professor Dunkley-Bent is responsible for driving improvements in care for new and expectant mothers, building increased safety and support in maternity care and promoting safer births as part of Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review, and the NHS Long Term Plan. She is also responsible for providing professional, strategic and clinical leadership to colleagues across the country.

Professor Dunkley-Bent was accompanied on the visit by Claire Mathews, Deputy Head of Midwifery, NHS England and Claire Keegan, Regional Director for Midwifery, NHS England. 

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