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Midwife honoured

Posted: 5 January 2012 by Rob Dabrowski

A consultant midwife has been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Sheena Byrom
Sheena Byrom, from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, has received an OBE for services to nursing.

‘I feel quite shocked, I’m very pleased, obviously, but I was very surprised,’ she told Midwives.

‘One of my biggest feelings was that, with any success that I was part of, there were other people I was working with who contributed to my success.

‘There are just so many people that have supported and helped me along the way.’

Sheena began her career in 1974, as a student nurse in Blackburn, qualifying in 1977 before training as a midwife in Burnley.

In 2001 she was made one of the country’s first consultant midwives, a joint role for East Lancashire Hospitals and the University of Central Lancashire, developing new ways of supporting the most vulnerable families during pregnancy and birth.

She was instrumental in developing new systems of maternity care to increase women’s choices and encourages healthy women to have their babies naturally.

There is a plaque at Blackburn Birth Centre which recognise her dedication to developing midwife-led birth and, at the end of 2011, Sheena’s bestselling memoir, Catching Babies, was published to much acclaim.

Honours lists are published twice a year, at New Year and in mid-June on the date of The Queen's official birthday.

Other health professionals honoured in the latest list include professor Stephen Bloom, a clinical director of pathology and therapy services, and professor Hilary Chapman, a chief nurse and operating officer.