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Saying goodbye to a leader in his field

Last week, over 150 of the country's leading clinicians came together to celebrate the career of one of the pioneers of fetal medicine.

Stephen Walkinshaw will retire his forceps this Friday and the event was a fitting tribute to a man who is revered across the UK for his knowledge and ability in the field.

The afternoon saw several of his current and former colleagues take to the stage to pay homage to our departing consultant for his abilities as a clinician, a mentor, a colleague and a friend.

We couldn't think of a better way to sum up the impact that Mr Walkinshaw has had on fetal medicine than to quote those who have known him best throughout the years:

Dame Lorna Muirhead: "Steve's work in fetal medicine was first generation; bring the hitherto secret place of the womb into our professional lives. Many families in Liverpool have cause to be grateful for his expertise, dedication and commitment to his work."

Tracey Johnston, Consultant in Fetal Medicine at Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Steve has been a huge support and a fantastic mentor throughout my career as well as an inspiration and a friend."

Sheila Macphail, Consultant Obstetrician at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Steve has been enormous in the field of fetal medicine and has inspired so many to take a real interest in clinical research."

Sara Kenyon, Senior Lecturer at University of Birmingham, said: "Every meeting is a Master Class in any given topic. Steve will be sorely missed." Professor Rona McCandlish said: "A lovely man with a huge heart and brain and enormous kindness."

Mrs Yana Richens OBE, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "A national treasure .... His expertise should be bottled"

Donna Kirwan: "Steve had a wonderful way of making each woman feel that her pregnancy problem was the only thing that mattered in the world. His unhurried and compassionate manner was effortless."

Julie Riley: "He was a delight to work with and was formative to making me into the leader and manager I am now. His passion for his work and the care of the women and babies was implicit in all he did and that philosophy for ensuring care was safe and of a high standard has been with me ever since."

Professor Paul Lewis: "An exemplar of professionalism who along with leaders in midwifery, set the standard for interprofessional working to advance the knowledge of intrapartum care."

Dame Tina Lavender: "Steve believed in my ability as a researcher. I have no doubt that I would not be in the position that I am now if it wasn’t for his support."

And via Twitter:

Angela Sharp (@MrsAngieSharp2d) said: "@LiverpoolWomens Mr Walkinshaw was great with me when my baby was breech in 2011. He helped ensure I still delivered her naturally. Great man!"

Ian Taylor (@IanTaylor26) said: “@LiverpoolWomens Mr Walkinshaw was my wifes consultant nearly 2 yrs ago as she was Type 1 diabetic and carrying twins. Kind and caring man.”

Jonathan Herod (@Jonathanherod) said: "@LiverpoolWomens please pass on my best wishes to Steve from Thailand. One of the best colleagues I've worked with."

On behalf of all of Steve's colleagues and friends at Liverpool Women's we'd like to thank him for everything that he has achieved and his unwavering commitment to patient care during his time here. We would like to extend our best wishes for the future to Steve and his family, whatever he chooses to do in his retirement.

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

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