By: 23 February 2018
NMC welcomes two new members to its Midwifery Panel

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has appointed Leigh Kendall FRSA and Lord Willis of Knaresborough to its Midwifery Panel.

The Midwifery Panel was set up in March 2015 and provides the NMC with straight-talking, high level advice on key midwifery issues that affect midwives and mothers across the UK. It also provides a forum to develop strategic thinking on all aspects of the future approach to midwifery regulation.

Leigh Kendall FRSA is a patient leader and NHS communications professional. In 2014 Leigh had the rare, life-threatening pregnancy complications, HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia at just 24 weeks’ pregnant. Her son Hugo sadly died aged 35 days. Since Hugo’s death, she’s been raising awareness of the importance of effective communication in healthcare, as well as HELLP syndrome, premature babies, and baby loss – collectively known as Hugo’s Legacy, through her award-winning blog, Headspace Perspective. Leigh has also co-led the #MatExp social movement, and the related Nobody’s Patient project. In 2015, she was named in the Health Service Journal’s first list of Patient Leaders. Leigh is currently the Communications Lead for NHS Horizons.

Lord Willis dedicates much of his time to research in areas including science and innovation and health policy. In 2012, The Willis Commission led an independent inquiry into what excellent pre-registration nursing education should look like. He also led the Shape of Caring review (Raising the Bar), published in March 2015, which set out recommendations to ensure that nurses and healthcare assistants receive high quality education and training over the next 15 years. Lord Willis sits on the NMC’s future nurse sponsoring board, overseeing the development of new pre-registration nursing standards.

Leigh Kendall FRSA said: “I am very pleased to be appointed to the Panel. I am looking forward to contributing my personal and professional experiences to the crucial work of the Panel, supporting midwives and mothers throughout the UK.”

Lord Willis of Knaresborough said: “I am delighted to have been asked to join the NMC Midwifery Panel and trust that I can add to the very positive focus there is on the future of midwifery in the UK”

Jackie Smith Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC said: “I’m delighted to welcome Leigh Kendall and Lord Willis to the Midwifery Panel. They both come with a great deal of the experience and expertise and will be great additions to the Panel.”

The Midwifery Panel is made up of the Chief Nursing Officers from the four countries of the UK, representatives from the NMC’s Council, the Royal College of Midwives and other leading midwifery figures.

For more information about the NMC, visit