Maternity and Neonatal Stakeholder Council

The Maternity and Neonatal Stakeholder Council provides a forum for external stakeholders to influence and contribute to NHS England’s Maternity and Neonatal Programme by providing feedback and strategic advice to the Maternity and Neonatal Board. The Stakeholder Council acts to support the Programme in its implementation of the Three year delivery plan for maternity and neonatal services.

The Council ensures that the views of relevant stakeholders are considered in the planning and delivery of Maternity and Neonatal Programme activities. The Chair of the Stakeholder Council is also a member of the Maternity and Neonatal Board and is responsible for sharing views and issues from Council members.

The Stakeholder Council enables charities, service user representatives, professional bodies, frontline staff, academics, and wider system partners to have their voices heard. The Council acts as sounding board, with members bringing their skills, perspectives and lived experience to help achieve our collective goals of safer, more equitable and more personalised care for women and families.

Following an open expression of interest process the Chair and Membership have been appointed until April 2026, when we will conduct a new expression of interest for Chair and Members.

To stay informed about the work of the Stakeholder Council and wider Maternity and Neonatal Programme, sign up to the fortnightly Maternity and Neonatal Bulletin.


Clea Harmer is the Chair of the Maternity and Neonatal Stakeholder Council. Clea is also the chief executive of Sands, a charity helping to reduce the number of babies dying and to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, before, during or shortly after birth.

Clea is passionate about the importance of peer support and enabling parents to make the decisions that are right for them. She has been a long-standing, valued member of the Stakeholder Council.

  • Alison Morton, Institute of Health Visiting
  • Allison Felker, MBRRACE
  • Professor Amy Brown, Maternal and Child Public Health, Swansea University
  • Angela McConville, Chief Executive, National Childbirth Trust
  • Asma Khalil, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director, Royal College of Midwives
  • Camella Main, Consultant Midwife, London and East Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Carina Okiki, Midwife, Oxford University Hospitals Trust
  • Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive, Bliss
  • Dr Clare MacDonald, GPs Championing Perinatal Care
  • Derek Richford, Service User Voice Representative
  • Felicity Platt, Consultant Anaesthetist, Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Dr Gill Harrison, Society and College of Radiographers
  • Helen Peck, Head of Healthcare Engagement and Research, Twins Trust
  • Janaki Mahadevan and Shanthi Gunesekera, CEOs, BirthRights
  • Professor Jane Sandall, King’s College London
  • Jo Dagustun, AIMS
  • Joanna Behrsin, Head of Service, Leicester Neonatal Service
  • Karen Middleton, Head of Campaigns and Policy, Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Kate Mulley, Director of Research, Education and Policy, Sands
  • Kath Abrahams, Chief Executive, Tommys
  • Katie Cullum, Lead Nurse for Innovation, Quality and Improvement, East of England ODN
  • Laura-Rose Thorogood, Chief Executive, LGBT Mummies
  • Madeline Lenchner, Maternity Core Connector, South West London ICB
  • National Maternity Voices
  • Nina Johns, Clinical Director for Obstetrics, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • Pauline Parks, Maternity Associate Practice Educator, East Sussex
  • Posy Bidwell, Trustee, MASIC
  • Dr Rita Arya, Deputy Clinical Director, Cheshire and Merseyside LMNS
  • Roisin McKeon-Carter, Chair, Neonatal Nurse Association
  • Saimah Anwar, Health Equity Programme Lead, Manchester City Council
  • Sara Ledger, Head of Research and Development, Baby Lifeline
  • Dr Sara O’Curry, Committee Member, BPS Perinatal Faculty, British Psychological Society
  • Sarah Bates, Consultant Neonatologist, BAPM
  • Sarah Esegbona Adeigbe, Associate Professor in Midwifery, London South Bank University
  • Sonah Paton, Managing Director, Black Mothers Matter
  • Professor Soo Downe, Midwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire
  • Tamsin Bicknell, Consultant Midwife Public Health and Safeguarding, Homerton Hospitals
  • Tracey Bignall, Senior Policy and Practice Officer, Race Equality Foundation

If you wish to contact the Stakeholder Council Chair, please email the project management office (PMO) team