Home birth midwives win top UK midwifery award
Published Tuesday 1st February 2011
Northampton General Hospital (NGH) midwives have won one of the UK’s top midwifery prizes for their work on home births.
The home birth team, alumni of The University of Northampton's BSc Midwifery programme and led by Anne Richley, Sally O'Connell and Babita Williams, scooped the Implementing Government Policy Award at the recent Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards.
The three led a team of 12 midwives set up to ensure that choice - as outlined in the previous government's Maternity Matters policy - was given to women, particularly around home birth.
Amongst many initiatives, the team developed new protocols and guidelines on home birth and produced a 'Choices' leaflet for women. They ensured that women were given the time to discuss the options available to them and that those looking to have a home birth went through a thorough risk and needs assessment.
Anne Thomas, NGH head of midwifery, said:
"I was delighted to see the hard work and commitment of our home birth team midwives at Northampton recognised with this prestigious national award - it is well deserved. They provide an essential service and real choice for women and their families.
"We were very proud to be able to bring an award home to Northampton and want to congratulate all the home birth team midwives and the maternity services department as a whole for this achievement."
Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said:
"This team showed remarkable enthusiasm and leadership in implementing a strategic vision, which met government policy.
"It is important for people to know that midwifery practice does not stand still. When midwives are given the resources, support and freedom to develop their work, the result is better services, better care and better outcomes for mothers, babies and their families."
Congratulations also went to Dr Sarah Church, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at The University of Northampton, who was shortlisted for the 'excellence in midwifery education' award for her work with Northampton General Hospital on an educational programme to enhance the skills and knowledge of midwives from Europe working in the UK.