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International Day of the Midwife 2017: New RCM executive named as midwives celebrate

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The RCM's new chief executive Gill Walton The RCM's new chief executive Gill Walton will start work in August

Thousands of midwives held events across the UK to celebrate International Day of the Midwife (IDM) 2017.

Friday 5 May marked the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives, maternity support workers and student midwifes across the globe. The theme for this year’s celebration was Midwives, Mother and Families.

Read more: Postnatal care is the neglected 'Cinderella' of midwifery

Over the past few months The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) helped its members hold celebratory events to mark the occasion with a variety of resources including themed tea party packs. A variety of events held in all four UK countries included a themed bike ride, a ‘cake and conversation’ study day, themed tea parties, and a mother, midwife and baby walk.

The RCM’s ‘Great Midwifery Cake Off’ saw hundreds of maternity and midwifery themed cakes baked and entered into a competition that the RCM runs annually for all its members.

Local events were hosted at maternity units, local RCM branches and student midwifery societies with many RCM staff in attendance to celebrate alongside RCM members.

Read more: Pregnant women urged to 'always ask' about health concerns

This year’s winner of Maternity Service of the Year at RCM’s Annual Midwifery Awards, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were visited by RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick.

She said: ‘Today has been such a wonderful day of celebrations for all our RCM members. There has been such a wide variety of events held across the UK to mark International Day of the Midwife and the creativity that has gone into many of the events that RCM staff have visited has been really impressive.

‘Midwives and maternity support workers do a remarkable job often under difficult circumstances to ensure women their babies and families receive the highest level of maternity care and support, so it great to see them celebrate all that is great and good about midwifery.’

Ms Warwick is retiring stepping down from her position in August, to be replaced by Gill Walton as the RCM’s chief executive. Her appointment was also announced on IDM. Sm Walton is currently director of midwifery and maternity services at Portsmouth Hospitals.

Read more: Loss of lecturers worsening midwifery shortage

She said: ‘I am thrilled to have been appointed to the role of chief executive and general secretary for the RCM – an organisation I have tremendous respect for.

‘I am really looking forward to working with members from all four countries of the UK, to help cement a positive future for midwives, maternity support workers and maternity services at this time of great change.'

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