As a result of the free movement in EU and the UK being the cradle of modern evidence based midwifery, more and more Greek midwives started to move to UK in the last 15 years for professional and academic development. The boom of Internet and Social Media led to further strantgehing of the need for networking and information/ experiences sharing and the ‘’Greek Midwives in UK’’ Facebook forum was created in 2013 by Greek midwives practising in United Kingdom.
The aim of that small group was to provide the platform for midwives in Greece to obtain a variety of information related to practising midwifery in United Kingdom; also it aimed to bring together the midwives that were already in U.K. and provide the opportunity for networking. This need to support each other led to a number of meetings and informal events. The result of those was the creation of the Hellenic British Midwives Association (HBMA) in 2016.
Zeni Koutsi is a Midwifery Teaching Fellow at one of the leading Russel Group Universities in the UK. Currently, she is teaching undergraduate midwifery students with the main focus on promoting normality, Global and Political aspects of perinatal care and breastfeeding.
Zeni has worked in Greece and UK, in public and private care settings and across all clinical areas (primary to tertiary care and clinical education). Zeni is the first Greek midwifery lecturer based outside of Greece. She was awarded a postgraduate studentship from the EU that enabled her to achieve an MSc in Midwifery from The University of Nottingham. Zeni was awarded the Clinical Award from Epsom and St Helier University Trust in 2011 for her overall contribution.
Research and evidence-based care have always been focal points for Zeni and that translated in her being a research midwife for 5 years, supporting various studies (mainly focused on obesity) and developing an innovative multidisciplinary holistic obesity clinic (project presented at the RCN conference 2010). She has a strong passion for optimal infant feeding/ breastfeeding and about challenging practices that disregard women's right to dignity in childbirth. Zeni has a strong presence in social media providing peer-to-peer support to colleagues, but also to mothers in her role and capacity as a parent.
Eirini is an exceptional example of a modern midwifery leader, actively practicing since 2004.
She holds a strong academic background, enriched by different educational systems of the three European countries (Greece-UK-Belgium). She has an MSc in Midwifery Studies/Research and also be qualified as a Policy Advisor and Project Consultant in 2013.
Eirini has worked on many significant research projects with the Kings College team (KCL) including prematurity and obesity.
At present, she works as a senior research midwife at IoPPN (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London) on a community project aiming to strengthen the future of babies and their families. As a co-author, she contributes significantly to the conception, design, execution, analysis and interpretation of the data, on the projects she is involving with.
Eirini is a very balanced, passionate and an inspirational visioner; ready to contribute to midwifery in any given challenge. In 2015, she became the co-founder and an executive board member of the HBMA (NGO) in London.
In addition to this demanding and innovate work, she also works as a front-line midwife in the obstetric-led labour ward at St Thomas Hospital, one of the busiest and most acute maternity units in London.
Last but not least, Eirini has a burning passion in astrophysics, cosmology and quantum physics. During the holidays, she volunteers to various archaeological excavations in Greece.
As a Maternity IT Systems Co-ordinator at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, I travel between both sites - West Middlesex and Chelsea – which it is indeed a great opportunity to experience the diversities this beautiful city has. It is also a unique opportunity to explore innovation in healthcare since in collaboration with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust we became a Centre of Digital Excellence. Through my MSc studies in Health Informatics I gained an insight on how to manage information and take critical decisions in Healthcare. It is truly inspiring to see the strength of digital health and scientific technology.
Furthermore, my postgraduate studies in Advance Midwifery and my vocational training in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology equipped me with a holistic view of childbirth. Working with the scientists and researchers across the globe, as a member of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), I value the role of research in healthcare systems and the importance of working together as individuals, hospitals but most importantly as nations. I love innovation and I admire the power we all have as human beings. Together everyone achieves more
Zoi qualified as a midwife in 2012, in Athens and worked as an independent midwife in Greece, before she moved in UK. Since 2014, she has been actively practising in the midwifery field within the National Health System (NHS) as a midwife in different settings including hospital, birth centre, and research settings. She is currently working as Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and teaching undergraduate midwifery students. She has received her Degree in Midwifery at Higher Technological Education Institute of Athens and continued with a Master of Science in Midwifery at the University of Salford.
Zoi is totally committed to supporting her colleagues and the student midwives in order to maximise the potential for all women to have a positive and satisfactory birth experience. As a midwife, she promotes normality in childbirth and is an advocate for her women as well as a strong supporter of their choices.
Zoi has published articles in journals and participated in conferences with presentations and posters. She is proud to have taken part, during her undergraduate studies, in innovative health promotion and community projects on deprived women and their families. She is one of the cofounders of the HBMA and as a non-executive board member, Zoi has the opportunity to serve the midwifery community (colleagues and students midwives) and promote women’s health in every level.
Maritsa Harriet Clarke
Maritsa Clarke is a Band 6 Rotational Midwife and Mentor currently working at the Great Western
Hospital Foundation Trust in Swindon, Wiltshire. She graduated from the Alexander Technological
Educational Institute of Thessaloniki in December of 2015 and has worked hard to reach her Band 6
position in the NHS.
Before coming to the UK Maritsa embarked on a voluntary trip to Cape Coast, Ghana in order to
widen her experiences and learn about different cultures through midwifery practice.
She is currently undergoing a Mentorship course with UWE (the University of the West of England) and she has a great interest in improving practice in her Trust. She has many ongoing projects and ideas for change in her place of work while also having aspirations to bring Midwifery care back to her
home country of Greece.
Maritsa would like to specialise in perinatal mental health and aspires to commence an MSc in public
health with a view of commencing a community midwifery service in her native Greece.
As a board member and team player she hopes that through HBMA and this collaboration, the team
will be able to achieve their goals and ultimately make HBMA known to the midwifery and Healthcare world both in the UK and in Greece.
Elena is a Rotational Midwife in Hillington Hospital in London, currently in the process of completing her preceptorship program. During her studies at the Midwifery Department in Athens, Elena attended clinical placements both in Greece and the UK; therefore, she was introduced to two completely different healthcare settings. Both of these have influenced her midwifery development. Within the Greek’s healthcare system, Elena developed advanced knowledge and interest in Gynaecology and women’s health. Her unique exposure to the English NHS as an EU student, as part of her final clinical placement, provided Elena with the opportunity to broaden her horizons in relation to holistic midwifery care and continuity of care. Elena practiced among other wards at a midwife-led birth centre.
She will soon be awarded an MSc in “Research in Female Reproduction” from the Medical School of Athens, where she solidified her passion for Sexual Health, Family Planning, and Endocrinology. Elena strongly believes in meaningful and positive teamwork and will strive to become a change agent in the Greek maternity system and support her colleagues to achieve wider professional development.