Four midwives had special reason to celebrate this year’s International Day of the Midwife – it saw them being the first ever winners of a prestigious new honour.
Programme Director for the midwifery degree at Swansea University Nicky Court, received the award along with her colleague Susie Moore who is Lead Midwife for education and head of midwifery education, along with Helen Etheridge, Lead Midwife Birth Centre and labour ward co-ordinator at Swansea Bay University Health Board and Elizabeth Rees, consultant midwife at Hywel Dda University Health Board.
This is the first time the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Wales and the Chief Nursing Officer Quality Improvement Award has been awarded.
The project focused on supporting women to have more positive experiences when giving birth. One of the key ways this was tackled was by supporting and building confidence in student and qualified midwives. The team focused on ensuring core midwifery skills were at the centre of midwifery practice, with a focus on improving the support for women having a vaginal birth.
Helen Rogers, RCM Director for Wales, said: “We were so impressed with the way that the partnership worked, bringing together those working in midwifery education, and out in hospitals and the community, to deliver this great project. It highlights the benefits of collaboration to improve services and the quality of care for women. Nicky and all the team involved in this are worthy winners.”
A delighted Nicky, who submitted the entry, said: “Our quality improvement initiative is something that is close to all of our hearts, and it has been a pleasure working collaboratively with our partner health boards to initiate this project.
“Our initiative aims to support our students and colleagues in practice to further increase their confidence by putting midwifery skills at the core of intrapartum care supporting physiological birth and ultimately enhancing the birthing experiences for all women wherever they choose to give birth.”
The team developed the project through initiatives such as joint workshops and focusing on enhancing midwives’ training and education, so that they in turn can offer even better support to women.
Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Sue Tranka said: “I’m delighted to have worked with the RCM to launch this award. Being part of a team underpins the role of the midwife and is very much evident in the work of Nicky and the team to improve services for families and for midwives at various stages of the career.”