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RCM Midwifery Awards 2008/9

17 February, 2009

RCM Midwifery Awards 2008/9

The RCM held its seventh annual midwifery awards ceremony in London last month. Maura O’Malley reports on the day’s events.



The RCM held its seventh annual midwifery awards ceremony in London last month. Maura O’Malley reports on the day’s events.
Midwives magazine:February/March 2009

Over 200 members of the midwifery community gathered at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington last month to celebrate the RCM's seventh midwifery awards.

Midwifery champions were recognised in ten categories encompassing a wide range of topics, from engaging with the most vulnerable in the community to innovative ways of tackling obesity.

Welcoming everyone to the awards, the RCM's general secretary Cathy Warwick said: 'I know award ceremonies are about winners, but I just want to emphasise that to reach the shortlisted stage really makes everyone a winner.’ She added: ‘I know that the judges were extremely impressed with the high quality and standards demonstrated by all the entrants.’

The presenter of BBC's Woman's Hour Jenni Murray told the audience that she has always been 'hugely grateful' for the midwives that cared for her during the birth of her two sons. She gave birth to her second son at home and had the same midwife care for her throughout her pregnancy.

 'I am such a supporter of midwives' skills,' she said and went on to highlight the topic for her next programme – the stress midwives are under due to understaffing. She emphasised the importance of applying pressure to tackle the dearth of midwives, because she believes expectant mothers today do not get the care she received because of this shortage.

Another special guest was Ann Keen MP who thanked midwives on behalf of the government for the work they do. She reassured the audience that midwives had champions in parliament and 'rightly so, you are our families' champions'.

The sponsors of the awards were also thanked for their support – Johnson's Baby, Pampers, The Children's Mutual, Philips Avent, Bounty and Pregnacare.






Category 1. The Johnson’s Baby Award for excellence in recruitment and retention

Preparation for midwifery

Alison Brown and Julie Walker





Alison Brown and Julie Walker, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The winners developed a course ‘Preparation for midwifery’ for students at general national vocational qualification level or A level in collaboration with local schools, the education authority and careers advisors. It aimed the ten-week programme at south Asian students who are under-represented in the midwifery workforce. The judges said that their project showed an innovative approach to engaging with the local community, aimed at narrowing the identified gap between ethnic composition of midwifery staff and the local community. There is also the potential for dissemination of public health managers via school colleagues, families and the wider community by the programme participants. There is a clear commitment to recruitment and retention to the profession and the wider NHS community.


PRAM: Practice, risk and audit in maternity, Gill Perkins, Hazel Pettipher and Sue Jolley, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Flexible retirement – Everyone’s a winner, Gwynneth Singh and Jean Wooley, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust




Category 2. The Johnson’s Baby award for excellence in midwifery education

Case conference academy






Janine Wyn Davies and Nancy Thomas



Janine Wyn Davies and Nancy Thomas, University of Glamorgan

University staff produced a script depicting a good and poor example of a professional’s contribution during a child protection case conference. The judges said it was an outstanding example of an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to educating a diverse group of students about an issue that most traditional education programmes do not provide appropriate teaching in.


A clinical and academic programme of education on female genital mutilation for midwives and doctors, Dr Gillian Aston, Comfort Momoh MBE, King’s College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery

Educational interactive CD-ROM tool for maternal mental health, Kathryn Gutteridge and Teresa Hewitt-Moran, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust





Category 3. Bounty award for promoting normal birth

Preparing for normal birth – a fresh approach to childbirth education

Sandra Smith and Michele Davidson






Sandra Smith and Michele Davidson, NHS Lothian

The Normal Birth Workshop is an interactive educational session designed to support normal birth. Mobility and the importance of remaining upright and active is emphasised through the use of music and simple dance steps developed specifically for the project. The judges were impressed with their passionate, innovative approach
to normality.


Production of birthing pool training DVD, Lyndsay Durkin and Kathy Rickers, Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals
NHS Trust

Promoting normal birth, Rose Villar and Cathy Rogers, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust




Category 4. The Philips Avent award for innovation in midwifery

Obesity in pregnancy– creative solutions for future health

Karen Jewell and Susan Jose





Karen Jewell and Susan Jose, Cardiff and the Vale NHS Trust

A support group run by a midwife and a consultant from Slimming World was established for women with a BMI of 30 or over at book in. The judges said it reflected demonstrable health impacts on outcomes.


The development and delivery of a pilot programme for the role of maternity care assistant, Anne Marie Rennie and Jenny McNicol, Robert Gordon University/NHS Grampian


The Midwifery Practice Audit – an innovative tool to change practice and lower caesarean rates, Sarah Gregson, Hillary Thomas and Jackie Jenner, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust




Category 5. Midwifery in community settings

Early bird antenatal groups

Brenda Clarke and Elaine Tasker





Brenda Clarke and Elaine Tasker, Halton and St Helen's Primary Care Trust

The winners launched early bird antenatal sessions for women within two weeks of receiving a referral. The appointment consisted of group sessions to promote health in pregnancy. It also provided a good opportunity to discuss birth places at a stage when women had not yet attended hospital. The judges said they demonstrated measurable outcomes, such as an increase in smoking cessation.


Evening antenatal clinic, Liz Wood and Cayleigh Curtis, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Inspirational Midwifery in a community setting, Dee Hadley and Tracey Cooper, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust





Category 6. The Pregnacare award for research into practice

Interprofessional collaboration in obstetric emergencies

Elaine Madden and Melanie McMechan






Elaine Madden and Melanie McMechan, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust /Ulster Hospital

They simulated an obstetrical emergency that was recorded to explore the interaction, behaviour and practices of healthcare professionals within a framework of peer-support. The judges said that the project's aims were clear and that there was great potential for this approach to be utilised in other units.


An exploration into the factors that have contributed to the changes in montrose maternity unit over the last five years, Clare Winter and Iona Duckett, Montrose Maternity Unit, Tayside NHS






Category 7. The Children’s Mutual award for excellence in partnership working

Working as one

Lynn Lynch MBE and Helen Butler







Lynn Lynch MBE and Helen Butler, Cwm Taff NHS Trust

They created a one-referral process, one multi-agency team and a range of services to tackle issues surrounding domestic abuse. The judges praised the exceptional partnership working between multiprofessionals, voluntary and statutory agencies. There was detailed planning to provide tailored services to victims. They are now trying to break the cycle by working with abusers.


Putting the puzzle together, Jane Rooney, Julia Kemp and Jan Sharrock, Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust


Developing a local perinatal mental health service, Julie Jomeen and Jacqui Powell, University of Hull/Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust





Category 8. Development of services for addressing inequalities in health

Children’s centre midwifery meeting the needs of the whole community

Susan Atherton, Liz Thompson and Patricia Hann






Susan Atherton, Liz Thompson and Patricia Hann, Mid-Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Trust has a team of children’s centre midwives to improve access to services and the quality of care for its vulnerable clien­­­ts. The judges said they demonstrated the ability to tailor services for the varying needs of a diverse community.

runners up

The Women’s Wheel, Claire Homeyard and Anna Gaudion, Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust


The role of the midwife in improving care for women with diabetes, Donna Buick, Maternity Unit – Antrim Hospital, Northern Health and Social Care Trust





Category 9. Pampers Student Vision Award

Sarah Clarke, Laura Carr and Elaine Brand






Sarah Clarke, University of Northumbria, Laura Carr, University of Surrey, Elaine Brand, University of Worcester

runner up
Kelly Godwin, University of Glamorgan




Category 10. Lifetime Achievement Award

Lindsay Reid

Lindsay Reid





Lindsay Reid was born in Banchory in north-east Scotland. She trained in midwifery at South Wales' Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport and practised as a midwife in Guildford and Kirkcaldy in Fife where she did community midwifery.

Since 1981, her professional interests have solely been in midwifery. The posts she has held have varied from being a ‘hands-on’ midwife through teaching/lecturing, researching and writing.

Lindsay taught midwifery at Forth Valley College of Nursing and Midwifery, which is now the University of Stirling.

Following early retirement from teaching in 1994, she continued to practise as a bank midwife in Stirling and Falkirk before becoming a research assistant with the midwifery research group at the University of Glasgow and the RCM UK Board for Scotland in 1996.

From 2000 to 2001, Lindsay worked in education and research at the RCM UK Board for Scotland in Edinburgh.

In 2003, she gained a PhD at the University of Glasgow with the thesis Scottish midwives 1916 to 1983: The Central Midwives Board for Scotland and practising midwives. Using the records of the Central Midwives’ Board for Scotland (CMB) and oral testimonies from midwives of all ages across Scotland, she focused on the shaping of midwives’ identity from 1916 to 1983 and the extent to which the CMB and other agents and events limited or facilitated this.

She currently researches and writes on midwifery issues in midwifery journals and books including Midwifery: freedom to practise?, which examines international aspects of midwifery practice with contributions from midwives from different countries.

Lindsay has been fantastic in providing the RCM UK Board for Scotland with archive material she has found during her research, and is keen to ensure it's shared with others. Lindsay would especially like to leave this legacy for midwives of the future so that they can identify where the roots of their profession lie.

Being an educationalist and researcher, her real enthusiasm is around making the midwives of today and tomorrow have the best experience they can have in their chosen career. However, at the heart of this lies her deep-rooted interest in women’s rights. Believing if you make the experience good and support the midwives, they in turn will pass this on to women.

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