A celebrated midwife who has dedicated more than 30 years to helping expectant mothers and students across the Midlands has received an honorary degree.
Carmel McCalmont was given an honorary doctor of science by Coventry University, in recognition of her significant contribution and outstanding pursuit of excellence in healthcare.
“I am absolutely delighted to be receiving this award”
She has been head of midwifery at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust for 15 years, as well as its associate director for women and children’s safeguarding.
The former nurse has over 30 years’ experience as a practising midwife, and remains influential in supporting and promoting healthcare training and innovation across the sector.
Born and brought up in Coventry, Ms McCalmont studied for her undergraduate degree at the city’s university before completing a master’s in medical ethics and law at nearby Keele University.
In 1981 she took up her first post as a staff nurse at Walsgrave Hospital, where she also first began working on the maternity wards and was made midwifery sister at the hospital just five years later.
In 1989 she started work as a community midwife in Coventry and returned to Walsgrave in 1992 as clinical specialist on the labour ward and later worked as head of midwifery at St Cross in Rugby.
She re-joined University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire as clinical midwifery manager, and since 2011 she has been its associate director of nursing for women and children’s safeguarding.
University honours lifelong commitment of Midlands midwife
She also now serves as co-chair of the West Midlands Heads of Midwifery group, and sits on the Royal College of Midwives Advisory Group.
During her career, Ms McCalmont has worked with regulators to develop a tool around safe, sustainable staffing in midwifery services.
She was credited with helping change practice after writing an article with a parent who wished to have their children at the birth of a fourth child – a request that met deep resistance at the time.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be receiving this award and grateful to Coventry University for the recognition, and for a fantastic job they do in training and developing the midwifery workforce.
“At University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, we are lucky to work with some incredibly compassionate and dedicated Coventry University midwifery students and recent graduates,” she added.
In 2013, Mc McCalmont was named as a Health Care Hero, and given a Lifeline achievement for her services to midwifery at the Pride of Coventry Awards.
In addition, in 2016 she was invited to meet the prime minister in Downing Street to celebrate nurses and midwives and their contribution to the NHS.