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'Role model' midwife recognised with badge of excellence

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A leading midwife at a major London trust has become one of the first people in England to receive the chief midwifery officer’s gold award.

Mary Sheridan from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for her “outstanding contribution” to both clinical practice and research.

“Mary is truly one of a kind and her passion and drive means she is an excellent role model”

Maxine Spencer

Ms Sheridan, who has been a midwife at the trust for 30 years, was presented the gold award by England’s first chief midwifery officer (CMO), Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.

The award is the brainchild of England’s chief nursing officer (CNO), Dr Ruth May, who introduced the new silver and gold CNO and CMO badges earlier this year to recognise nurses and midwives who go above and beyond their roles providing excellent care.

Ms Sheridan, who has also lectured at King’s College London for 18 years, said: “Receiving the award was a complete surprise. I’m lucky to work with a great team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London.”

Since 2011, she has been the lead midwife for the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) programme at St Thomas’ hospital. Under the programme, babies within 72 hours of birth are screened for conditions related to their heart, hips, eyes and testes.

Spearheading the programme at St Thomas’ hospital, Ms Sheridan worked with Public Health England to introduce NIPE, which was piloted at the hospital before being rolled out nationally.

“She is a fantastic example of someone who has been able to bridge the gap between academia and clinical practice”

Maxine Spencer

Also working in research, the midwife will be presenting findings from her PhD study, titled ‘Think Breech’, at the 14th International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference later this month.

jacqueline dunkley bent

jacqueline dunkley bent

Director of midwifery at the trust, Maxine Spencer, who nominated Ms Sheridan for the award, said: “Mary is truly one of a kind and her passion and drive means she is an excellent role model for others.

“She is a fantastic example of someone who has been able to bridge the gap between academia and clinical practice, with a successful career in both,” added Ms Spencer. 

CMO Professor Dunkley-Bent said: “Presenting this award to Mary recognises the outstanding contribution that she has made to the midwifery profession, maternity services and ultimately the lives of women and babies.

“It was an absolute privilege to honour her in this way,” she added.

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