NMV’s thanks key senior leaders moving on from NHS England

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, and Sir Cyril Chantler are stepping down from their roles in NHS England. National Maternity Voices (NMV) collated messages from Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MVP / MNVP) members to send with a token of appreciation for their incredible and long standing contributions to maternity and neonatal improvements and developments in England.

Baroness Julia Cumberlege is stepping down from being the chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme’s Stakeholder Council and from the programme’s board. She co-led the National Maternity Review. Her public service and her commitment to the NHS goes back many years, including recently leading the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

Sir Cyril Chantler is stepping down from being the vice-chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme’s Stakeholder’s Council, on which he has been the vice-chair from the start. He co-led the National Maternity Review with Baroness Julia Cumberlege before becoming a Maternity Transformation programme ambassador. His records of public service and his commitment to the NHS go back many years, including recently leading the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

~ Adapted from Stephen Anderson | Head of Maternity Programme

National Maternity Voices (NMV) have had the opportunity to work with Baroness Julia Cumberlege and Sir Cyril Chantler at the Stakeholder’s Council since 2016. They have always supported service user involvement and MVPs.

NMV sent this message to them at their last Stakeholder Council meeting:

‘Julia and Cyril, thank you for everything you’ve done to improve maternity services and particularly for your commitment to involving women and families, both during the National Maternity Review and throughout the implementation of Better Births. Your unwavering support has been crucial in enabling Maternity Voices Partnerships to be established across the country as a vehicle for maternity transformation. We will continue to build on this progress in the years to come. 

~ Heartfelt thanks and best wishes from National Maternity Voices’

The Chief Midwifery Officer (CMidO), Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, is leaving her role in May to become Chief Midwife at the International Confederation of Midwives.

She was the first person to hold the CMidO role and developed the national and regional midwifery structure at NHS England.

She has been a midwife for 35 years, holding multiple senior positions in clinical practice, education, leadership and management. She has made invaluable contributions to the Maternity Transformation Programme and beyond e.g.

  • encouraging take-up of midwifery as a career by children and young people through the development of midwifery ambassadors and other initiatives
  • working clinically as a midwife throughout the pandemic
  • improving equity of maternity care for all women, babies and their families.
  • chairing the government’s Maternity Disparities Taskforce, about improving outcomes for women from ethnic minority communities and those living in the most deprived areas
  • supporting midwives from ethnic minority backgrounds with ongoing mentoring and sponsorship etc.

~ Adapted from Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May

NMV has had the opportunity to work with Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent at different events to keep service users at the centre of, and as equal partners in, maternity and neonatal developments. She appeared in our 2019 webinar about making MVPs safe spaces for all ethnicities. Like Julia and Cyril she has actively supported service user involvement.

Our best wishes in their next endeavours.