Kate Brintworth has been appointed the new head of midwifery in England.
Ms Brintworth is currently the chief midwife for NHS England in London. She will take on the national role of chief midwifery officer for England in June and declared her intention was to make pregnancy and birth “equitable, safe and joyous”.
Ms Brintworth, who has been a midwife for 26 years, will replace Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who is stepping down as England’s CMO this month to take a leadership role with the International Confederation of Midwives.
The change of midwifery leadership comes at a time of high scrutiny of safety issues in maternity care, with a string of recent scandals in Nottingham, East Kent and Shrewsbury and Telford.
A key part of Ms Brintworth’s new role will be to lead delivery of NHSE’s three-year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services, which pledged to improve midwifery staffing and to offer personalised care to all women.
She described her appointment as “the most incredible opportunity.”
Ms Brintworth said: “I am delighted to have been given this honour and look forward to working with our fantastic midwifery teams, clinical colleagues, families, the Royal Colleges and the many organisations who care about the future of maternity services to make pregnancy and birth the equitable, safe and joyous experience we all want it to be.”
Ms Brintworth has also held roles such as head of maternity transformation at the Royal College of Midwives, and head of maternity commissioning for East London.
Dame Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: “Providing safer and more personalised maternity care and ensuring every woman, no matter where they live in England, is provided with the very best care before, during and after their pregnancy is crucial and a central part of this role.
“I’m delighted to welcome Kate into this role. Her extensive and varied experience are an absolute asset and I look forward to seeing the impact she will make as part of the national NHS England team when she takes up the post in June.”