Professor Cathy Warwick, the chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, will step down from the role and retire at the end of August 2017, it has been announced today.
Professor Warwick will be 65 in August and has been the RCM’s chief executive for over eight years, having taken up the post in 2008.
“The RCM is a great organisation and I will be very sad when I leave”
Over the course of her tenure, the RCM has seen its membership grow to its highest ever levels, the union highlighted. It credited her with being “instrumental” in directing internal modernisation at the RCM and enhancing services for members.
She had also been central to positioning the RCM as an “influential and collaborative organisation”, added the union.
It cited the most recent example of this being her contribution to the government’s recently published Better Births Maternity Transformation Programme in England.
In addition, under her leadership, members of the RCM took part in strike action for the first time in its 133-year history in October 2014. The protest, along with other unions, was against the government’s decision not to introduce a 1% blanket pay increase for all NHS staff.
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Meanwhile, the RCM said Professor Warwick had “consistently championed real choice” for women on how and where they give birth, and the need for high quality and safe services.
The RCM said it would now begin the search for a new chief executive and that Professor Warwick would work with the board and staff at the RCM to support a smooth transition to the next leader.
Professor Warwick, said: “I have absolutely loved my time at the RCM. It has been a privilege to work with all of our wonderful members and to do everything we can together to ensure women and their babies get the best possible care.
“The RCM is a great organisation and I will be very sad when I leave,” she said. “I feel very sure that the next CEO will take the RCM on to even better things.”