England's top midwife

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent is England's first Chief Midwifery Officer.

Jacqueline is the most senior midwife in England. She's one of our featured black role models.

Professor Dunkley-Bent leads thousands of midwives across the country, raising standards for maternity care.

Midwives give care to women and their families - assisting them through pregnancy, during labour and in the first moments of becoming a parent.

They encourage healthy behaviours that can benefit the baby, throughout childhood and into adult life.

Midwives also support women’s birth choices.

England's first Chief Midwifery Officer

1. What do you like most about your job?

"Being in a position where I can influence safer and more personal maternity care for women, babies and their families...

...whilst supporting midwives to reach their potential."

2. What is your proudest moment?

"Becoming the first Chief Midwifery Officer for the NHS in England."

3. What inspired you to the top of your career?

"I simply wanted to be my best, do my best and always do what’s right... 

...a mantra instilled in me by my parents from childhood."

4. What challenges did you have to overcome?

"Studying whilst working in jobs with responsibility for maternity and nursing services. 

Responsibility for healthcare provision was 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Speaking truth to power."

5. How can we give young children a better start in life?

"I have fond memories of my time working in  Lambeth, serving women and their families. 

Supporting young people to reach their full potential starts by: 

  • listening to children and young people;
  • seeking to understand them;
  • being purposeful with actions and opportunities e.g. offering mentorship opportunities;
  • and sharing candidly about lessons you have learned – including challenges, obstacles and decisions you’ve made (good or not so good)."

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