Catherine Calderwood: The obstetrics expert who held Scotland’s top medical job

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood at a coronavirus briefing at St Andrews House in Edinburgh.

Doctor Catherine Calderwood spent half a decade influencing policy and practise in the top medical job in Scotland before her resignation in disgrace.

Her appointment as chief medical officer for Scotland came after more than two decades of work in the health service, including on the investigation into the deaths of mothers and newborn babies at Morecombe Bay.

Born in 1968, Dr Calderwood completed her undergraduate studies at Cambridge University, before qualifying as a medic from the University of Glasgow in 1993.

She worked as a junior doctor in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh before specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood had completed ‘transformational’ work in the role Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/PA

This knowledge was key to her involvement in helping to reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Scotland since becoming an adviser to the government in 2010.

After taking on the role of chief medical officer in 2015, Dr Calderwood, 51, continued to have a maternity medicine and antenatal clinic at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

She chairs the UK maternal, newborn and infant clinical outcome review programme and the Scottish Government stillbirth working group and is also a member of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists stillbirth clinical studies group.

  • ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith has the latest on the Dr Calderwood's resignation

However, the doctor’s position as chief medical officer was considered untenable after she was photographed at her second home, in contravention of coronavirus lockdown rules.

Despite apologising after the pictures of her family hear her Fife home appeared in the Sun on Sunday, Dr Calderwood resigned “with a heavy heart”.

After she stepped down on Sunday evening, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Dr Calderwood and her “transformational” work.

She said: “While she has made a very serious mistake in her actions, that should not detract from the fact that as CMO she has made a highly valuable contribution to the medical profession and to health in Scotland, and I have no doubt she will continue to do so in future.”