Spotlight on: Sarah Watson, the new Lead Midwife for Recruitment, Retention and Staff Engagement

Sarah Watson has recently been appointed as our new Lead Midwife for Recruitment, Retention and Staff Engagement, thanks to funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement’s ongoing commitment to support our maternity services.

“I was Matron for Maternity Inpatients at Ipswich Hospital for several years before becoming the Risk and Governance Facilitator for Gynaecology and Maternity at the hospital in 2021,” said Sarah.

“The current vacancy rate in our Midwifery Department is being tightly managed. We have a new intake of newly qualified preceptor midwives starting with us in September and more experienced midwives joining in the Summer.

“We know that retention is a big issue within the midwifery profession: on average, nationally, almost two colleagues leave the job each month. Often this is because they struggle getting the right support or their shift pattern is not flexible enough for their work-life balance.”

“I will be a direct link between the Divisional Midwifery Director and the students, return to practice learners and the early career midwives to inform enhancements in learner and staff experience.

“I am also here to support the exit interviews to develop themes to demonstrate areas for improvement which can be discussed with other local, regional and national retention leads and teams.”

Sarah will also be working to strengthen our recruitment and ensure colleagues are given the opportunity to work flexibly to suit their needs.

“Colleagues who have young children/dependants can have problems with working shifts and family commitments, so new and existing staff now have the option to discuss and request a flexible work pattern”, added Sarah.

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