Pioneering Consultant Midwife in Fetal Medicine, Veronica Donovan OBE, has officially received her prestigious award from the Princess Royal at an “unforgettable” ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Mum of three, Veronica, received the honour in recognition of her commitment and dedication during her 30 year career in the NHS when she has helped save and change the lives of countless children.
After joining Birmingham Women’s Hospital in 1999 she played a significant role in the development of the specialist Fetal Medicine Centre – the only centre of its kind in the region, which helps families who have complexities with the health of their unborn babies during pregnancy, before becoming the centre’s Matron in 2003 and then a Consultant Midwife in 2014.
Now recognised as an exemplar in its field, the centre enjoys a national and global reputation for excellence caring for more than 2,200 patients each year.
After training in Coventry in the late 1970s, Veronica worked in an Antenatal Unit, which sparked her interest in scanning. She later went on to become only the second midwife in the country to independently undertake the procedure of amniocentesis - the screening for fetal abnormality - and is now a practitioner and trainer for this procedure. She was also part of the pioneering team that established the fetoscopic laser ablation service for pregnancies complicated by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome for the north and midlands regions.
Veronica, who is now a much-respected voice nationally, has played a major role in education, lecturing across the UK and internationally on the subject of fetal medicine, while also being heavily involved in research to help understand and improve outcomes for women and babies. This has included helping to establish a ‘pre-term’ birth clinic for women with a previous history or risk of premature birth.
The Edgbaston resident is now working to increase the availability of antenatal scanning in the community, this forms part of the work we are doing with our colleagues across the Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Newborn Partnership (Bump), to give women greater choice and consistent access to maternity care across both Birmingham and Solihull.
Veronica Donovan OBE, said:
“It really was such a wonderful day, one treasure forever. To receive the award from HRH Princess Royal was such an honour. She was so well informed. It truly was an unforgettable experience – something that I still find a little hard to believe.
“I feel that I’ve been truly fortunate and privileged to have worked with so many committed, compassionate and skilled people during my career. It’s humbling to be part of that and I know learning to improve things for our women and families is the driving force for everything that we do. I know that will continue as we work and support them during their journeys.”