Research midwife receives honorary degree

Monday, 4 December, 2017

Southmead Hospital research midwife Cathy Winter with her honorary degree One of our midwives has been awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Cathy Winter has been a midwife at Southmead Hospital since 1985 culminating in the role of lead research midwife for the PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) Maternity Foundation (PMF) and North Bristol NHS Trust.

She was honoured with a Doctor of Science Degree at Bristol Cathedral last week in recognition of her contribution to service and education in leading and championing multi-professional education for maternity services that promotes maternal safety at a national and international level.

Cathy has worked in all departments in the maternity unit, eventually combining her role as a labour ward coordinator with practice development and research. She has also undertaken two research secondments to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) in Oxford, and the Confidential Enquiries into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy (CESDI) in London.

Cathy was integral to the development and implementation of the award-winning multi-professional local maternity training package that was developed in Southmead’s Maternity Unit. Cathy also co-developed the PROMPT 'Course in a Box', which is now in its third edition, and is used by many maternity units across the UK, and the world. PROMPT is an evidence-based training package that has been associated with significant improvements in outcomes for mothers and babies in Bristol and has been rolled out across the country and the world.

These improvements have been replicated in maternity units in Kansas (US), Victoria (Australia) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). Based on these successful outcomes, PROMPT training was recommended in the 2017 NHS England Maternity Services Review – Better Births.

Cathy has been credited for her ability to translate national guidance and research into simple, effective tools that can be employed at a local level, making it easier for units to implement evidence based guidance. She is passionate that safe maternity care requires the involvement of the whole maternity team with all members playing a vital part.

Cathy has also been involved in the design and coordination of many multi-professional research projects that have influenced clinical practice and policy. Over the past seven years, with Professor Tim Draycott, she has set up a successful multi-professional maternity research team at North Bristol Trust. She has also been a co-author of more than 50 multi-professional journal publications.

Cathy said: “I am truly flattered that UWE have thought me worthy to be awarded this prestigious award in recognition of my contribution to promoting maternal safety, and I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“I have definitely not achieved this on my own, but through many years of working as part of a multi-professional maternity team at Southmead and within the PROMPT Maternity Foundation. I am proud that our training tools and research are valuable to clinical staff and can help make it easier for us all to do the right things. I would like to thank every one of our maternity, research and PROMPT team members for their treasured support, and for their help to disseminate PROMPT throughout the UK and to many other countries around the world, so that we can improve care for mothers, babies and their families, together.”