Welcome to the British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society Website. The BMFMS aims to provide a forum where issues of relevance to Obstetricians and other professionals involved in pregnancy care are discussed.

In particular, the Society seeks to:

  • Disseminate knowledge
  • Promote research and audit
  • Encourage the interface with industry to promote technological advances Establish good quality training programmes
  • Encourage development of clinical guidelines

The ultimate goal is to encourage improved standards of pregnancy care. The BMFMS provides a Maternal and Fetal Medicine input to a variety of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) committees and has been involved in the development of the new ATSMs.

The Society makes representation to other Colleges and other national bodies/organisations when appropriate.

If you would like to apply to become a member of the BMFMS or renew your application if you do not pay by standing order please fill out the membership form and send to the Society Coordinator details below.

For any enquiry regarding the society, please contact our Society Coordinator:

27 Sussex Place
Regent's Park
email: bmfms@rcog.org.uk

Mission Statement

The BMFMS aims to improve the standard of pregnancy care by dissemination knowledge, promoting and funding research, contributing to the development and implementation of high quality training, and providing a forum where issues relevant to pregnancy care are discussed.

The ultimate goal is to encourage improved standards of pregnancy care. The BMFMS provides a Maternal and Fetal Medicine input to relevant Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) committees and provides advice on Maternal and Fetal Medicine training to the RCOG. The BMFMS also makes representation to other Colleges and other national bodies/organisations when appropriate.

The Society also aims to develop links to other similar societies based in different geographical locations.

BMFMS is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 1145101) 

Message from the President


Dear BMFMS member,


This is just a short note to introduce myself. I did plan to wait a little while before sending this but as it took precisely 35 minutes for me to get my first email as President with a request for help I thought I would take the opportunity now.

I’m just back from Amsterdam where we have just held arguably our most successful conference to date and I hope that all who attended enjoyed it as much as I did. To all those involved in its planning, preparation and delivery I would extend a huge thank you. We should also recognise the contribution from the speakers, poster presenters and delegates, without your work and dedication to high quality research and clinical care we would have no conference to attend and the questions, debate and discussion would have been neither informative nor entertaining.

As an early plug can I ask you all to “save the date” for next year’s conference which will be in Brighton on 19th - 20th April 2018 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. There will be more detail to follow but I know the pressure can be on to book early so this is an early heads-up.

I expect the next 3 years to be a challenging time for maternity and obstetric services of all shapes and sizes. Our society is increasingly asked for its opinion and view on matters both clinical and organisational and so please feel free to get involved and watch the web site for opportunities to help and support the society with some of the work we will have to complete. You may be interested in joining the Committee and there will be several opportunities to do this over the next 12 months as we have new elections for officers and speciality representatives, but we will also be looking for the support of other individuals who may be ideally placed to respond to questions for the society in their specialist areas. 

Finally it would be remiss of me not to thank Tim Overton the outgoing President for the great job he has done for the past 3 years. The challenge for each President is to try to leave the Society in a healthier position than they inherited it in. Tim has certainly done this and can be proud of the societies achievements over the past 3 years which have culminated in the fantastic conference we have just held in Amsterdam.

I’m sure you will all join me in thanking him on behalf of the society for his considerable time, effort and commitment in the role.

So thanks for voting me in, I’m looking forward to the challenge and see you all in Brighton !!

Best wishes,





The Society

The Society shall be known as the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society.

Hereafter in the document it will be referred to as “The Society”.


The Society aims to provide a forum where issues of relevance to Obstetricians and other professionals involved in maternity care are discussed. In particular, the Society seeks to

• Disseminate knowledge

• Promote research and audit

• Establish good quality training programmes

• Encourage development of clinical guidelines.

The ultimate goal is to encourage improved standards of maternity care.

The Society will provide a Maternal and Fetal Medicine input to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) including advice on training in obstetrics and special interest / subspecialty training in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. The Society will also make representation to other Colleges and national bodies when appropriate, including providing relevant stakeholder feedback on relevant national documents and guidance.

The Society will develop links to other relevant professional societies with the aim of disseminating knowledge and improving standards of care for pregnant women.


 Membership is open to any professional involved in maternity care. There will be no limit to the size of membership. To become a member, a completed application form must be submitted to the Society’s Coordinator, along with the appropriate annual subscription fee. Subscription rates are set by the Society and revised periodically. Concessionary membership rates will be available for midwives and non-clinicians. Continued membership involves the payment of the annual subscription fee. Membership will be terminated if there is failure to pay the annual subscription. The Committee has the right to terminate membership under exceptional circumstances.

Society Officers and Committee structure

Roles of Officers

The President will:

• Be the principal spokesperson for the Society

• Be the named stakeholder when the Society registers involvement in discussions with other Societies or national bodies

• Chair the Committee meetings

• Chair the Annual General Meeting

• Be responsible for the accuracy of the minutes of meetings.

The Secretary will:

• Be responsible for coordinating the activities of the Committee

• Be responsible for the production of the minutes of the Committee and Annual General Meetings

• Collaborate closely with the appointed Conference Organiser

• Act as deputy to the President in terms of representing the Society at relevant meetings.

The Treasurer will:

• Be responsible for the Society’s finances and producing an annual audit of accounts at the Annual General Meetings.

• Advise the Committee about financial issues eg when subscription rates need to be raised

• Advise about the registration fee or any surcharge necessary for Annual Meetings of the Society, to ensure that these Meetings do not run at a financial loss and generate some income for the Society

The Committee will comprise of 23 members, drawn wherever possible from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Appointment of Committee Members

1. Notification of vacancies or new appointments to the committee will be circulated to Society members (by email or web posting).

2. Candidates, with their agreement, must be nominated by 2 Society members (by postal or e-mail return of signed nomination paper)

3. A voting paper with details of candidates will be circulated (by email or web posting).

4. Votes will be registered by return of a signed ballot paper to the BMFMS office or by web based voting.

5. Members can only vote once for each vacancy advertised.

The Society’s Officers and Committee members will be elected by the membership of the Society for a term of three years. The President may not be re-elected, but other Officers and Committee members may be re-elected once for a second three-year term. A willing person can serve a third term, if no other candidates come forward for election. The Committee reserves the right to allow flexibility in the timing of appointments, to ensure continuity within the Committees. It is anticipated that no more than four committee members will change in one year.

Committee Membership:

• President

• Honorary Secretary

• Treasurer

• Scientific representative

• Trainee representative x2

• District General Hospital representative x2

• Abstract Co-ordinator

• Prize Co-ordinator

• Maternal Medicine representative x 2

• Labour & Delivery representative x 2

• Pregnancy Outcome representative x 2

• Fetal Medicine representative x2

• Education and Training representative

In addition, there may be up to four ex officio members:

• The outgoing President

• Representative of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

• Representative of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM)

• Website co-ordinator

• Technology co-ordinator

The outgoing President will be an ex-officio member for a period of one year only, to allow a smooth transition period. Ex-officio members representing the RCM and BAPM will be elected by their respective organisations for a period of three years but may be re-elected once for a second three-year term. The appointment of other ex-officio members is at the discretion of the Committee. Such appointments will usually be for a period of three years.

In addition to the above a representative of the Conference Organiser may be invited to attend Committee Meetings where appropriate.

12 out of 23 members, with at least 2 officers, would be quorate.

The Committee will meet at least twice during the year, as necessary to fulfil its functions. The functions of the Committee will be as follows:

• Development of Maternal and Fetal Medicine special interest and subspecialty training

• Identification / provision of BMFMS representatives for RCOG and other relevant national committees

• Organisation of the Annual Meeting of the Society

• Organisation of joint meetings with other Societies /Groups.

Working Groups

The Executive Committee may draw up small Working Groups, usually chaired by a Committee Member, where an issue is identified needing consultation and discussion. Members of these Groups will be co-opted from the Society’s wider membership. These Groups will report to the Committee and their continued existence will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Society Coordinator

The Society will employ a Coordinator whose functions will be:

• Keeping a full and up-to-date membership list

• Collecting the annual subscriptions

• Deal with the day to day financial matters pertaining to the Society

• Keeping a permanent record of the Minutes of all Society Meetings

• Keeping on file copies of all correspondence relevant to the Society, including Committee minutes.

• Communicating with the Society’s members via mail, website posting or email when there are items of news to be disseminated from the Officers or Committees, or where the members’ views need to be canvassed about a subject.

• In liaison with the Website Coordinator, maintaining an up-to-date Society website, in liaison with any persons or company employed for that purpose

The Society Coordinator will usually be present at Committee meetings.

Conference Organisers

The Committee will appoint Conference Organisers to deal with the practical arrangements of their Annual Meeting (selecting conference venues, negotiating rates of hire, identifying suitable accommodation, publicity, registration, trade exhibitions etc). The Committee will review contracts periodically.

The Conference Organisers will participate in parts of Committee meetings relevant to Conference Organisation and take minutes accordingly.

Change in Constitution

1. Any change in the Constitution must be proposed at least two months in advance of the Annual General Meeting to the Committee and have a “seconder” who must also be a Member of the Society.

2. The decision on the proposal will be on the basis of a straight majority vote of those attending the Annual General Meeting.

3. These amendments to the Constitution were agreed by vote at the AGM in April 2016.






Prepared by David James

Emeritus Professor of Fetomatermal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham 


In the early 1990’s obstetricians were becoming less involved in the management of normal (‘low risk’) pregnancies where the majority, if not all, care was provided by midwives in the community.  In contrast there were many developments in screening, diagnosis and management in problem (‘at risk’) pregnancies that obstetricians had to assimilate into their practice.

With this background in 1994, a questionnaire survey was undertaken of all Members and Fellows of the RCOG to explore the support for a new Society which would provide a forum where the above issues of relevance to obstetricians and related health professionals could be discussed.  The survey had an 80% response rate and over 90% of the responders supported the concept. Thus, the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society was born.

First meeting

The planning for the inaugural meeting took place via a series of meetings in my office in the Queen’s Medical Centre during 1995 and early 1996.  The first organising committee comprised people whom I knew and whom I could persuade to get involved.  They were Bryan Beattie (Cardiff), John Grant (Belshill), Ian Greer (Glasgow), Mary Pillai and Peter Soothill (Bristol), Steve Robson (Newcastle), Charles Rodeck and Phil Steer (London), David Taylor (Leicester), Steve Walkinshaw (Liverpool) and myself.  One of the wisest parts of the planning was to appoint Bell Howe Conferences as the Conference Organiser. Diana Bell in particular was very helpful in guiding us and she was a loyal supporter of the Society in its early days including taking the Minutes at meetings both of the Organising Committee and the Annual General Meeting of the Society itself. 

The first meeting took place at Warwick University on 18-19th April1996.  There were approximately 250 delegates and our first Keynote Speakers were Prof Surla Eik Nes, Dr Neil Marlow, Prof Ingemar Ingemarsson and Prof Baha Sibai. The meeting was a huge success and there was massive support for the Society and the annual meetings to continue.  Positive features included:

  • Obstetricians were pleased to have their own identity
  • The size of the attendees was such that there could be effective ‘networking’ and all the oral presentations could be attended by all the delegates
  • The four half day sessions covering Fetal Medicine, Maternal Medicine, Labour and Delivery and Postnatal and Pregnancy Outcome meant that there was ‘something for everybody’
  • The deliberate plan to have an approximate 50:50 split between science and clinical material
  • The high quality of the presentations,   

Second meeting

With the endorsement of the delegates at the Inaugural meeting, we planned a second meeting for 1997.  The organising Committee made a number of changes on the basis of suggestions from the 1996 delegates.

The second meeting of BMFMS took place on 20th and 21st March 1997, again at Warwick University.  The attendance was even better than 1996 with nearly 300 delegates.  Once more we were able to attract keynote speakers with an international reputation and the second meeting was even more successful with the Society growing its reputation.

The main issues at the AGM were discussions about a Constitution for the Society and the election of Officers. Subsequent to the voting Martin Whittle was elected to be President and Rupert Fawdry was Treasurer. I was elected as the Society’s Secretary. A constitution was developed and annual conferences became the norm.

Society Officers over the years


Martin Whittle
Steve Walkinshaw
Alan Cameron
Steve Robson
Mark Kilby


Tim Overton (2014-)


David James
Pippa Kyle
Margaret Ramsay
Tracey Johnston

(2010 to present)


Rupert Fawdry
Tim Overton
Mark Denbow

(2010 to present)


Subsequent meetings and Conference Organisers

Conference Organisers : Bell Howe Conferences

Year Conference Venue



Conference Organisers : Hampton Medical Conferences

Year Conference Venue

2012 2013

‘Perinatal Medicine 2008’ Harrogate – joint meeting with BAPM,NNN 
‘Perinatal Medicine 2011’ Harrogate – joint meeting with BAPM, NNN
'Perinatal Medicine' 2014 Harrogate-joint meeting with BAPM

The initial overall aim of the Society was to provide an annual forum where professionals interested in management of problem pregnancies could meet, ‘network’ and learn about the latest clinical and scientific developments.

However, within 2-3 years of its foundation it became clear that the Society wanted to become more involved nationally whilst continuing to work with the RCOG.  This led to various important developments in the areas of education and training and formal links with the RCOG such as representation on RCOG Committees; joint meeting organisation; the establishment of our own Office at the College.

There have been successful joint annual meetings with other groups and societies. For several years the Macdonald UK Obstetric Medicine Society held its annual meeting the day preceding BMFMS in order to maximise attendance. More recently we have had combined Perinatal Medicine Meetings in 2008, 2011 and 2014 which have been organised in conjunction with the Neonatal Nurse Association, British Association of Perinatal Medicine and the Neonatal Nurses Society.

In summary, the Society has come a long way and looks set to continue and prosper in the future. The care of high risk pregnancies is in safe hands!

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