Midwives and others who fought to turn round the fortunes of the maternity unit at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating after being named Midwifery Service of the Year.
The team earned the accolade after beating stiff competition at the Royal College of Midwives’ annual awards in London on 7 March.
“Our team delivers quality, safe and compassionate maternity care”
Staff have worked hard to rebuild the service and restore the confidence of women after an investigation into a cluster of stillbirths in 2013 to 2014.
This included developing the Your Choice, Your Birth, Your Pregnancy campaign that saw clinicians work closely with patients to improve services, culminating in the opening of a new midwife-led maternity unit in May 2016.
The national RCM award comes hot on the heels of the trust’s annual staff awards where maternity won Team of the Year.
Earlier in the year the service reached the finals of national awards – run by Nursing Times’ sister magazine Health Service Journal – in the patient safety category.
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Trust chief executive Mel Pickup – a nurse by background – said the organisation “could not be more proud of our maternity team”.
“Two years of sustained focus and energy has seen the whole team work together to rebuild their unit, restore patient and public confidence and the pride and passion of its workforce,” she said.
“Our team delivers quality, safe and compassionate maternity care and our ladies and their families consistently highly recommend this trust as a place to give birth and enjoy a superior patient experience,” said Ms Pickup.
She added: “This award is a testament to the team’s sheer hard work and determination to turn their service around and make things better for patients, families and staff.”
In addition, team member Katherine Conquest was “highly commended” in the excellence in maternity care category of the awards for her acupuncture service. Warrington and Halton is reported to be the only trust in the country to deliver this midwife-led service.
“This is a great achievement for both the team and the field of maternity care”
It was Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s maternity team that ultimately won the Johnson’s Award for Excellence in Maternity Care, after reducing third and fourth degree tears in women during childbirth from a national average of almost 6% to just 1%.
The improvement was accomplished through the introduction of “STOMP” – a prevention method designed by the team in Kent. It focusses on position, speed and coaching techniques during childbirth, reducing both the amount and severity of injuries that women can face.
Dot Smith, Medway’s head of midwifery and gynaecology, said: “The team and I feel extremely honoured to be recognised by the RCM for such a prestigious award.
“I am very proud of the maternity team for their hard work and dedication in reducing the rates of child birth injury to below the national average; this is a great achievement for both the team and the field of maternity care,” she said.
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Full list of 2017 RCM Awards winners
The RCM Annual Midwifery Awards was held on the 7 March 2017 at the Brewery in London.
EuroKing Better Births Award – Transforming Maternity Services Together (TST), Cathy Falvey Browne and Caterina Raniolo, Barts Health NHS Trust
JOHNSON’S® Award for Excellence in Maternity Care – STOMP, Dorothea Smith and Maya Basu, Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended: Maternity Acupuncture, Katherine Conquest, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
JOHNSON’S® Student Midwife Award – Katharine Siobhan Pearson, King’s College London
Lansinoh Award for Team of the Year – Public Health ‘Always stepping it up!’ Maternity Team, Public Health Maternity Team, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
RCM Award for Policy into Practice – Reducing stillbirths, Katy Evans and Sally Bryant, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Pregnacare® Award for Maternity Support Worker of the Year – Janet Ashton, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust
RCM Caring for You Award – Claire Nutt and Lisa Marshall, North Bristol NHS Trust
The President’s Award for Reducing Inequalities – Lanarkshire Additional Midwifery Service (LAMS), Lorraine Farrow and Liz Walsh, NHS Lanarkshire
Sands Award for Bereavement Care – HEFT Bereavement Team, Clare Beesley, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
Slimming World Award for Partnership Working – Voices over silence: A partnership youth project to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation, Karen Jewell and Ruth Mullineux, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Thompsons Members’ Champion Award – Mary Edmondson, RCM Learning Representative, Luton RCM Branch
Kellogg’s All-Bran Award for Midwifery Service of the Year – Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year
- National Winner – Laura Wyatt, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
- Regional winner: England London – Michelle Harrison, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Regional winner: England Midlands – Laura Askins, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Regional winner: England North – Linda Gibbs, Mid Cheshire Hostpitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Regional winner: England South – Pam Walsh, Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust
- Regional winner: Northern Ireland – Joanne Murray, Western Health and Social Care Trust
- Regional winner: Scotland – Claire MacPhee, NHS Highland
- Regional highly commended: Scotland – Kirstie Devine, NHS Grampian
- Regional winner: Wales – Laura Wyatt, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board