ASM 2015 Speakers

We have an absolutely fabulous lineup of speakers for this year's Annual Scientific Meeting of BSPOGA.  Please read along to find out a bit about them and the topics they will be addressing (speakers are in order of their appearance on the day*):

Dr Leroy Edozien
(Chair of the meeting*)


Dr Edozien holds qualifications in medicine, basic sciences, and Law from the Universities of Ibadan, London and Glasgow and is a Member of West African, Irish and UK postgraduate medical colleges.

He is the Chairman of the British Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Andrology (BSPOGA). He has undertaken various other assignments at national level and lectured widely on professional and clinical issues.

Dr Clare Willocks
(Organizer of the meeting*)


Clare has been a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in NHS Lanarkshire since 2004. She is interested in the collaborative approach to patient safety , woman centred care in maternity, inspiring leadership and self enablement. She has been secretary of the British Society of Psychosomatics in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BSPOGA) since 2010. BSPOGA 's aim is to raise awareness of, and to educate the public and health professionals about the interaction between mind and body, and the biopsychosocial factors affecting health outcomes.

Angela Cunningham III
Angela Cunningham


Angela trained as a Nurse in the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow qualifying in 1981.   Angela moved to Aberdeen to train as a Midwife at the Aberdeen Maternity Unit - qualifying in 1983.

Returned to the Queen Mother’s Hospital in Glasgow where the majority of her clinical career was based in Intra partum care.

Angela moved to Chester for five years and continued her career in Maternity Services with Gynaecology added to her remit.

Returning to Scotland in 2000 to take up her post as Head of Midwifery in Ayrshire and Arran, which includes the responsibility for In-patient Children’s Services.

In her current role as Associate Nurse Director in Ayrshire & Arran, Angela promotes women and family centred care.  Working with colleagues they support women’s informed choice in pregnancy and birthing.

Within Children’s services the team work to ensure children and families are at the heart of all decisions made regarding service development. This has resulted in the introduction of many specialist nursing posts and a robust community outreach service to support families at home.

Angela is currently seconded 2 days a week to support the Maternity Care Quality Improvement Collaborative, as the Midwifery Clinical Lead.  Working with the MCQIC programme and the Team at HIS who support her ongoing passion to improve services and outcomes for women, children and their families.

Summary of Address

Angela will discuss the

  • importance of investing in the early years,
  • impact it has on the child’s life course.

This will lead on to Angela discussing:

  • the importance of keeping birthing a normal physiological process balance against risk assessment and our duty to do no harm.
  • our responsibility to deliver quality person centred care every time.
  • some work and data to date relating to these issues

Geraldine Butcher


Geraldine has worked in maternity care since 1983 having previously been a registered general nurse. She qualified as a midwife in November 1987 and worked as rotational staff midwife until moving into clinical development roles in 1996. She has maintained her clinical practice throughout.

In 2007 Geraldine was appointed Consultant Midwife with a specialism is Normality, and works clinically facilitating two specialist clinics: one for Vaginal birth after caesarean (from 2008) the other for Fear of Birth (ad hoc from 2008 – 2013 and dedicated clinic thereafter).

Geraldine has worked with Healthcare Improvement Scotland to develop the national Midwifery Formulary, and guidance for health professionals on caring for survivors of sexual abuse. She was a member of the steering group for NHS Education Scotland’s ‘1 out of 4’ educational resource for women’s health professionals (RCM President’s Award 2015).  Sexual abuse is one of the causes of fear of birth.

Summary of Address

The topic of sexual abuse is difficult to discuss and is often avoided but recent media coverage of child sexual abuse have made it clear it is much more common than previously thought. The care we give women accessing reproductive health services can have a significant impact on the psychological and emotional wellbeing of the woman, with the potential to re-traumatise. One out of Four is an educational programme developed by NHS Education Scotland in response to the identified knowledge gap in health professionals. The content was devised by a multidisciplinary, multiagency steering group and uses e-learning and tailored workshops to get the key messages across.

Dr Mary Ross-Davie


Mary has been a registered midwife since 1995. She has worked clinically in a variety of hospital and community roles in London and, since 2004, in Scotland. Mary has held specialist roles caring for women with mental health problems and substance misuse problems.

From 2009 – 2012 Mary undertook her PhD full-time exploring the positive impact of continuous midwifery support during labour and childbirth.
Since 2012 Mary has worked as the Educational Project Manager for Maternal and Child Health for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) where she has a responsibility for continuing professional development for midwives across Scotland. Her work at NES has included the development of a range of new online learning resources on fetal alcohol harm, maternal mental health, maternity bereavement and Sudden Unexpected death in infancy.  One of the projects she has led, ‘One out of Four’, developed educational resources to improve care for women survivors of sexual abuse and won the RCM President’s Partnership award in 2015.

Summary of Address

Mary will talk about the recent and current developments in Scotland aiming to raise the knowledge and confidence of health professionals about maternal mental health and infant mental health

Dr Alison McFadden


Alison qualified as a midwife in 1981 and worked in clinical midwifery in England and Malawi. She qualified as a midwifery tutor in 1989, awarded the Robert Peer’s Prize for Adult Education by the University of Nottingham, and spent 17 years lecturing in midwifery and women’s health at the University of Teesside. She was awarded a Masters in Applied Educational Studies by the University of York in 1993.  In 2005 she joined the Mother and Infant Research Unit at the University of York and gained a NIHR Researcher Development Award to undertake a PhD which was completed in 2010 at the University of York. She joined the University of Dundee as a research fellow in January 2013.

Dr Joan Cameron  

Rebecca Wade


Rebecca qualified as a midwife in 1998 and worked as a rotational midwife at Borders General Hospital for 7 years. She was a trained NCT teacher and organised and ran antenatal classes from the hospital. In 2005 she became a part-time midwife working with the outreach service with Scottish Borders Council, funded by Sure Start. In 2010 the Early Years Assessment Team became co-located and she has been the senior midwife in the team since then.  In 2014 the Team won an RCM award for partnership working and continues to look to the future and develop the team with the baby and mother leading the practice.

Girijamba Polubothu


Girijamba Polubothu has PG Dip in Community Education, degree in Economics. She has worked extensively with minority ethnic organisations and has been working with Shakti Women’s Aid for the past 17years and is currently the Manager of Shakti Women’s Aid. She currently sits on the Scottish Government’s Forced Marriage Network Group and has been actively involved in drafting the Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 and Multi agency practice guidelines – handling cases of forced marriage. She is an active member of the National No Recourse to Public Funds Campaign Group lead by Southall Black Sisters. She is also locally involved with Violence against Women Partnership, Edinburgh Multi-agency risk assessment conference and Cross Party group -Men’s Violence against Women and Children.

Dr Rhona Hughes


Rhona is a consultant obstetrician and Clinical Director for obstetrics and Neonatology,NHS Lothian. She chaired the NICE Guideline Development Group on “Care of Pregnant Women with Complex Social Factors” published in 2010 and continues to have a major interest in the care of vulnerable pregnant women. She does a lot of work in the area of intrapartum obstetrics and has recently been appointed chair of the Obstetric Guideline Committee for NICE guideline on Intrapartum Care (due to publish late 2017). She also has a longstanding interest in infection in pregnancy and in particular in the prevention of neonatal group B streptococcal disease.

Summary of Address

Rhona will talk about the messages from the NICE guideline “Care of Pregnant Women with Complex Social Factors” and about developments in maternity care for these women over the last five years, since the publication of the guideline.

Dr Mary Hepburn


Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist - recently retired from the NHS

Mary Hepburn (OBE) trained first as a general practitioner and then as an obstetrician and gynaecologist.  Her main interest is in the effects of poverty and inequality on health and access to services.  She established and, until her retirement from clinical practice in July 2014, was consultant in charge of the Glasgow Women’s Reproductive Health Service for women with social problems (now the Glasgow Special Needs in Pregnancy Service).  Dr Hepburn continues to contribute to the undergraduate and postgraduate training for medical and non medical professionals nationally and internationally. She has provided training and support with service development nationally and internationally and continues to work as a consultant for WHO and other NGOs in developing and /or resource poor countries.  Mary was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015.

Summary of Address

Dr Hepburn will discuss the challenges of providing appropriate reproductive healthcare to socially disadvantaged and other vulnerable women, helping them to protect and control their fertility and supporting them to have pregnancies if and when they choose with best possible medical and social outcomes.

Nina Murray


Nina Murray is Women’s Policy Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council. She leads on the organisation’s work to advocate for improved access to services and gender sensitive policy, practice and legislation impacting on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers living in Scotland. Nina is co-author of Tackling Female Genital Mutilation in Scotland: towards a Scottish model of intervention, which seeks to identify communities potentially affected by FGM in Scotland and explore potential interventions to tackle FGM in a Scottish context. Nina is also Convenor of Engender and sits on the boards of Scottish Detainee Visitors and the Ngbotima Charity Trust in Sierra Leone. She holds an MA in Migration Studies and a BA in Iberian and Latin American Studies, and previously worked in the adventure travel industry in Latin America, the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Summary of Address

Nina will talk about the needs and experiences of refugee and asylum seeking women in Scotland and some of the barriers they face in accessing services. She will also discuss the findings of a recent research report she co-authored entitled, 'Tackling Female Genital Mutilation in Scotland: a Scottish model of intervention'.

Roseanne Martorana


Roseann is a chartered Educational Psychologist working within learning and leisure services in North Lanarkshire Council.  She works collaboratively with agencies such as health and social work to support children with additional support needs from birth to 24 years old.   

In 2011, while pregnant with her 2nd child, she trained as a Mongan Method HypnoBirthing practitioner and has since been running classes to expectant parents in her spare time.  In 2014, she received funding from the Early Years Collaborative (EYC) to run HB classes to expectant mums and their birth partners in North Lanarkshire. She passionately believes that by embedding such a programme to educate expectant parents about birth, bonding and the power of the mind/body connection, we can create more positive birth outcomes for vulnerable women, more positive environments for their babies and happier families.

Summary of Address

I often wondered... If parents knew more about how their environment during pregnancy shaped their babies’ brains and the power of ante-natal bonding, would it have made a difference?  I wanted to find out.

My presentation on HypnoBirthing will summarise the project I’m running through the early years collaborative, the results so far, how I intend to use what we’ve learned to continue to increase positive experiences for vulnerable families, and give some insight into what HypnoBirthing is all about.  Time permitting, we have the option to end the day – and start the weekend – with a little bit of guided relaxation.

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*Note: Leroy Edozien and Clare Willocks will not be speakers at the meeting in the sense of delivering an address or talk but are included because they are listed in the Programme as opening the meeting.