RCM Epsom & St Helier Branch Celebrate #NHS70

By Nick Child on 07 August 2018

Our Epsom & St Helier Branch joined the NHS 70th Birthday celebrations at both hospital sites on 5th July.

Our Branch officers and Workplace Reps held a breakfast trolley dash at St Helier Hospital and a tea party celebration at Epsom General Hospital for #NHS70. At the tea party event at Epsom General Hospital, our guest of honour June Allen (pictured below) talked about her journey as a Midwife from almost 70 years ago.

June’s long career had seen her take on many different roles in maternity services in London and across the world. She began her career as a Pupil Midwife in 1950s London, where she sped around the city on a Vespa assisting home births, often working alone and even on one occasion breaking up a knife fight on her way to a birth. Having qualified in tropical diseases early in her career, in the 60s June moved to Uganda for her first overseas post as a Midwife Tutor, where she enterprisingly taught new midwives key birthing skills using cardboard boxes and even delivered a baby on a golf course. This would begin an illustrious international career, as she went on to help develop Midwifery Training Schools in Kampala, Mbarara and Gulu, as well as becoming Chief Midwife Tutor in Zambia. Alongside this June was instrumental in establishing training for a registered course for home deliveries, as well as being closely involved in the setting up of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Zambia?.

June ended with a heart-warming message to current maternity staff  “I am now convinced the NHS Maternity Service is in very good hands!”

The Branch activity was part of a programme of Trust wide celebrations and with the RCM being more active than ever due to the dedication of the local activists they certainly featured in a big way.