HI-TECH equipment used to train midwives in Oxford impressed one of the nation’s best-known doctors.

Dr Miriam Stoppard, who has written more than 50 books on pregnancy and health, toured Oxford Brookes University’s facilities before sharing her expertise with trainee midwives, children’s nursing students and community midwives.

And the birthing simulator at the school of health and social care at the Marston Road campus got her seal of approval after a demonstration.

Dr Stoppard said: “To be able to practise on non-real babies and non-real mums, but have everything programmed by a computer, is an amazing way to learn.”

Dr Stoppard was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 2007 for her pioneering work in maternity care and pregnancy.

Senior midwifery lecturer Dawn Gilkes said Dr Stoppard’s visit had been both thought-provoking and informative.

She said: “Dr Stoppard engaged in an enthusiastic and lively discussion with the students that emerged from her observations and her experiences within the field of maternity.”

Dr Stoppard told students that a lack of Government investment meant too few midwives in the UK.

She said: “We are quite a long way from what the ideal midwife-patient ratio should be.

“The increased birth rates leading to increased workloads for midwives are not reflected in an increase in midwife jobs.”

Dr Stoppard has sold more than 20 million books and writes a national newspaper column.