Bournemouth midwives win national award for their work

on 26 March 2019 Midwifery Awards

Two midwives from Bournemouth won one of the UK’s top midwifery awards for their project for healthy a healthy workplace to ensure the delivery of high quality of care , and reduce staff turnover rates in their maternity service.

Carmen Cross Head of Midwifery and Audrey Wareham RCM Health and Safety Rep originally signed up to the Campaign in 2016  The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - scooped the caring For You Award at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards.

The midwives won the award for their project toImprove staff working conditions, , reduce staff turnover, and improve staff morale.

Carmen and Audrey championed the trust to sign up to the RCM’s Caring for You campaign and Charter. This campaigns aims to improve the working lives of midwives and maternity support workers, so they can deliver even better care for women, babies and their families.

After consulting other staff members and using feedback from women using the service, Carmen and the RCM local branch identified areas that needed attention. These included improving continuity of carer, improving staff retention and getting the right IT equipment for staff working in the community.

In collaboration with managers and the RCM branch  the team - developed ways to engage with and consult staff. These included workshops, drop-in days and celebration events such as annual away days and tombolas to raise money for the maternity service. They ensured members of the team monitored their progress and were empowered to address any issues identified. 

The results have been impressive -  continuity of carer for women improved. A neighbouring maternity service was also brought in to collaborate with the delivery of services, including home births. As a result, the team is able to accommodate considerable demand -  four home births in four hours on one occasion, which would have been challenging for one trust to be able to support alone.

The impact on staff has also been significant. Ongoing monitoring shows turnover rates for staff have fallen significantly. Staff surveys are consistently showing positive improvements in staff satisfaction and sickness rates have improved.  A recent CQC report on maternity services highlighted the positive culture that supported and valued staff. Staff working in the community also now have up to date IT equipment supporting them to be more efficient and better connected.

The award was collected by Carmen Cross and Catherine Stevens current RCM H&S Rep.

Carmen Cross, Head of Midwifery at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said: “We’re delighted to have brought home the Caring for You Award. As a team we’ve worked incredibly hard to make our services the best they can be for both mother and baby. We’ve also worked to support all staff to ensure RBCH is an exceptional place to work and we’re delighted to have this work recognised by the RCM.”

Carmen and Catherine Stevens – another RCM Health and Safety rep at the trust and part of the team that worked on the project received the award at the Royal College of Midwives Awards Ceremony in London on 5th March 2019.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a great project showing that when the wellbeing of staff is addressed, it has a positive impact on the quality of care for women using the service. This was an innovative project that benefits staff and women and it is a great example of trust managers and staff working together. A well deserved winner and I congratulate Carmen and Naomi on this great achievement.”

For more information on the RCM Annual Awards visit

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at