St George’s Professor Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, renowned for his work advancing women’s health and maternity care, was honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on Saturday (12 June 2009).

Professor Arulkumaran, Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St George’s, University of London and clinician at St George’s Hospital has been appointed a Knights Bachelor for services to medicine.

Professor Arulkumaran was “delighted” at the knighthood, which recognises his work in maternity care. He says: “I was completely overwhelmed when I received the letter informing me that I would be receiving such an honour.

“The area of medicine I work in brings huge rewards of its own. I began working in obstetrics and gynaecology (which comprises the care of the pregnant woman, her unborn child and the management of diseases specific to women) because I was fascinated by the ‘magic of birth’ and the happy ending in the vast majority of cases for the couple, their family and the staff. After so many years in the same field, I continue to be passionate about this great service and making a difference to patient care and women’s health.

“I am lucky enough to come across inspiring obstetricians and gynaecologists from all around the world and every one of them enjoy what they do and are also the champions of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women.”

Professor Arulkumaran’s career in obstetrics and gynaecology clinical practice stretches almost four decades – over 25 years of which have included academic research and teaching.

His key achievements include the development of a “clinical dashboard” to provide clinicians with the relevant and timely information they need to inform decisions that improve the quality of patient care.

He has been Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St George’s, University of London and a clinician at St George’s NHS Healthcare Trust since 2001. Previous to this he held posts at a number of high profile institutions including the National University of Singapore, the University of Nottingham, the Asia & Oceanic Federation, and the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Principal of St George’s, University of London, Peter Kopelman, congratulated Professor Arulkumaran on his award: “I am immensely proud of the work Sabaratnam does at St George’s and within his other professional roles. He is a truly inspirational clinician and a true professor to the students at this University.”

Professor Arulkumaran’s research interests are fetal monitoring, intrapartum care, high risk pregnancy, obstetric litigation and safety in maternity care. Throughout his career he has published 24 books as author or editor and 240 indexed articles and over 150 book chapters. He has also been Editor in Chief of Best Practice & Research in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology since 1998.

David Astley, Chief Executive of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This award is deserved recognition of the immense contribution that Professor Arulkumaran has made to maternity care both in his clinical work and through research”

Professor Arulkumaran has been President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) since 2007. The RCOG aims to improve women’s health by encouraging the study and advancement of the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. The RCOG International Office works with other international organisations to help lower maternal morbidity and mortality in under-resourced countries.

For further information contact Helena Clay in St George’s, University of London press office on 020 8266 6831 or email

Notes to editors

St George’s, University of London provides education and training to a wide range of more than 3,500 medical and healthcare students on one site. As well as providing courses in medicine and biomedical sciences, the College also offers courses in midwifery, nursing, physiotherapy, radiography and social work in conjunction with Kingston University. St George’s is dedicated to promoting by excellence in teaching, clinical practice and research, the prevention, treatment and understanding of disease. It has a high reputation for research in areas such as infection, diseases of the heart and circulation, cell signalling and epidemiology. Other areas of expertise include genetics, health and social care sciences and mental health.