Honorary degree to be awarded to research midwife Catherine Winter

Issue date: 24 November 2017

Catherine Winter

Catherine Winter is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) 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.

Catherine completed her nursing training at the Middlesex Hospital in London in 1981, following on with her registered midwife training at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge in 1984. She moved to Bristol in 1985, where she commenced her post as a staff midwife at Southmead Hospital. Over the past 30 years, Catherine 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.

Catherine is currently the lead research midwife for the PROMPT Maternity Foundation (PMF) and North Bristol Trust. She has been integral to the development and implementation of an award-winning multi-professional local maternity training package that has been sustained at Southmead Maternity Unit in Bristol since 2000. Furthermore, she has 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 also reductions in litigation costs. These improvements have been replicated in maternity units in Kansas (US), Victoria (Australia) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). Based on these successful outcomes, PROMPT training has been recommended in the 2017 NHS England Maternity Services Review – Better Births.

The PROMPT training package provides simple tools and algorithms to facilitate the implementation of local 'in house' multi-professional training. One of Catherine's key skills is 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. Catherine is passionate that safe maternity care requires the involvement of the whole maternity team with all members playing a vital part. She strives to ensure that there is a multi-professional approach to both training and maternity care to ensure that midwives, doctors and all members of the maternity team can provide the best possible care for mothers, babies and their families, together.

Catherine also has extensive practical research experience and has 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, Catherine 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.

The honorary degree will be conferred at the awards ceremony of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at Bristol Cathedral on Thursday 30 November at 2pm.

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