BU Emeritus Professor of Midwifery Practice and Professional Development Paul Lewis has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his work with Mothers, Midwives and UK Maternity Services.
On first hearing about his nomination some months ago, Professor Lewis said, “I thought it was a spoof”. However, on hearing the certain news last Friday, he said, “it was a real privilege to receive such an honour, especially so because my work as a midwife and a teacher over many years has itself been deeply rewarding.”
The honour for his contribution to the health and wellbeing of mothers, the education, practice and advancement of midwives and in working to raise the quality and effectiveness of maternity services is, he said, “the icing on the cake”. However, Paul stressed that “it is not just my award but an award for all those I have worked alongside and the Institutions and organisations I have worked for along the way. They gave me the support, the time and the opportunities and BU and my colleagues at the University have played a significance part in all of this”.
Professor Lewis continued, “It is fantastic to be given an OBE and my phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since. I have heard from mothers and families as well a friends and colleagues and I was even contacted by a mother who I looked after throughout her pregnancy and the birth of her twin boys, who told me that she was so pleased that her sons and family had been a part of my story. It is indeed a great thing to get this award but I have been truly touched by the wonderful comments I have received from people afterwards and I think is this is the real honour.”
Paul led midwifery education at Bournemouth University from 1995 up to his retirement in October 2011. He was subsequently awarded an Emeritus role at the University in recognition of his work and his on-going support teaching current students on the midwifery and paramedic programmes within the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.
As well as his work at BU, Paul is Chair of the Executive Board of Trustees for the charity ALSO (UK), which ensures the provision of high quality education and training on ‘urgencies and emergencies in maternity care’ across the UK, Europe and beyond. He is also an Editorial Board Member for the British Journal of Midwifery and reviewer for the International Journal of Nursing Studies.
Professor Lewis will receive the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award at Buckingham Palace in the coming months.