Published on: 20 June 2019


Maternity Support Worker Keelie Barrett (@49klb) is calling on her midwifery friends and colleagues to help her create history in this year’s Royal College of Midwives (RCM) elections.

For the first time in its history, the RCM has opened up its election process to Maternity Support Workers, allowing Burnley-based Keelie to add her name to the ballot papers issued to all RCM members on 19 June.

ELHT Communications caught up with Keelie to learn more about her bid to create history.

"I firmly believe that a happy, healthy and well-motivated workforce enables us to achieve the best outcomes for women and their babies.

"I am an experienced Maternity Support Worker (MSW) at East Lancashire Hospitals. During my Career as an MSW I have worked within the Birth Centre and on the postnatal ward.

"In addition to my substantive role I hold the RCM branch positions of Steward, Health and Safety Representative and MSW advocate. These positions allow me to take an active role in campaigning for better working conditions, both in terms of pay and contractual rights and in relation to all aspects of health and safety, whilst currently acting as branch chairperson.

"I recognise and am proactive in challenging inequalities, particularly those which affect the wellbeing of staff.

"As a Health and safety representative I was able to work together with the Head of Midwifery to be one of the first Trusts to sign up to the Caring for You Campaign in 2016.

"The elephant in the room! I’m an MSW; I proudly fight for Midwives, MSW’s and Maternity services.  I am also a woman, a mother, juggling life like everyone else.  I am a strong woman, I believe that the RCM, as an organisation, is about its members, and members voices should be heard.

"As a board member I pledge to continue to support Midwives, student midwives and MSW’s in issues that matter to them. I will be your voice on pay, pensions, and working conditions. I will campaign for our members who have come from EU countries, to live and work here, who are facing uncertainty in relation to Brexit.

"I would like the opportunity to bring the passion I have for these roles to the RCM board in order to help shape the direction of maternity services in the future."