Midwives recognised for going above and beyond

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2023 9:23 AM

Midwives recognised for going above and beyond

Two midwives have been presented with a prestigious national award in recognition of going above and beyond in their roles. 

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Recruitment and Retention Midwife Sharon Parker and Lead Professional Midwifery Advocate Julia Andrew received the Chief Midwifery Officer Silver Award on Tuesday.

The award, which is made to recipients who have demonstrated excellence in clinical practice, leadership resulting in improvement, championing diversity and inclusion, was presented by Sascha Wells-Munro, Deputy Chief Midwifery Officer for England on a visit to King’s Mill Hospital.

The pair were nominated by the Trust’s Consultant Midwife Gemma Boyd and Director of Midwifery Paula Shore.

Sharon Parker, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, who has worked at the trust for ten years, has been responsible for recruitment and retention since February 2022.

In that time, she has successfully recruited into all vacant posts for newly-qualified midwives. All these midwives still work for the Trust, apart from one who has relocated to a different area.

Gemma said: “At a time when the greatest challenge to maternity services is the retention of midwives, Sharon is a fine example of how to create a safe, nurturing environment for newly-qualified midwives, allowing them to flourish even in incredibly challenging working conditions.

“She is their champion and cheerleader and is always there for them whatever their worry. Several of our newly-qualified midwives have said they don’t know where they’d be without Sharon’s support.”

Julia, of Newark, has been a Professional Midwifery Advocate since February 2022 and has led the service since June 2022. 

She set up the Birth Options service, which develops birth plans for women and birthing people who request care outside of guidance. She makes sure all women are empowered with supported decision making and offers bespoke support to midwives and obstetricians to ensure they feel safe and empowered to facilitate choice.

Prior to Julia’s involvement, the Professional Midwifery Advocacy (PMA) service was minimal but is now an invaluable part of the Trust’s maternity services. Since the service was launched it has supported more than 70 families, providing them with individualised and responsive maternity care.

Gemma said: “Julia is a well-respected and outstanding community midwife of many years who is very well respected by the multi-disciplinary team. She is the most passionate midwife I have ever met about empowering women through birth and facilitating choice. Her deep sense of compassion and connection with families inspires me every day.”

Director of Midwifery Paula Shore said: “Sharon and Julia are fantastic examples of what makes midwifery so special. They continuously go above and beyond to support maternity colleagues and expectant parents to help improve safety for our local families.”

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