Two Maternity staff receive national awards

Hayley Summerfield, Co-ordinating Professional Midwifery Advocate and Birth Reflection Service Lead, and Rachel Appleton, Fetal Medicine Midwife, received an award from NHS England’s Chief Midwifery Officer, Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, the country’s most senior midwife.

The awards were developed to reward the “significant and outstanding” contribution made by nurses and midwives and their exceptional contribution to nursing and midwifery practice.

Receiving them came as a complete surprise to Hayley and Rachel when their citations were read out yesterday.

“It is both exciting and overwhelming,” said Hayley. “As the citation was read out, I thought what an enormous amount has been achieved and how rewarding the roles are that we have here.

“I was saying to myself what an incredible colleague I work with. It was a complete surprise that they were talking about me.

“I am very proud to be involved and lead these important services for colleagues, women, and their families and appreciate how well supported I am by Stephanie Pease, Divisional Midwifery Director, and the senior management team.”

Hailey was nominated by Stephanie and her citation said: “Hayley is a dedicated, strong, compassionate midwife, role model and a person of exemplary character providing the highest standards of clinical and service leadership.

“PMA advocacy is a vital component of maternity support for all our colleagues. This service allows the staff to have a confidential listening ear, and Hayley provides the support without criticism, blame or negativity.

“Hayley, who adheres to every aspect of the PRIDE values, is determined to support every individual to reach and achieve their full potential. In addition, Hayley has developed an excellent service for our women, introducing the Birth Reflections Service at the Trust.  Hayley’s advocacy for women’s choice alongside her adherence to the NMC code, local and national policies is empowering to watch and I believe truly deserves this prestigious honour.”

Rachel, who was nominated by Deputy Divisional Midwife Kelly Stevens, said: “There has been a huge amount of teamwork, effort and commitment in developing the Fetal Medicine services we offer.

“The team has doubled in size since I joined. I am supported by a hugely skilled and dedicated team of midwives who all share the same aim, to deliver the highest standard of empathetic care to families during a potentially challenging pregnancy journey.

“Sometimes the outcomes are not what we would hope for but we are motivated to offer a non-judgemental, safe place where choices are understood and voices are heard.”

Kelly’s citation said: “Rachel has come into her own since the opening of the Fetal Medicine unit and she thoroughly enjoys her role within the unit. She leads on complex workstreams and cases and never fails to go above and beyond for the women in her care.

“Despite having to work under pressure in a very challenging environment, Rachel radiates positivity and is a joy to work with. Nothing is too much trouble, and she has a warm and friendly disposition. She combines empathy and kindness with an extraordinary work ethic (which is an example to everyone she works with) and unfailing reliability and efficiency. Rachel’s personal effort ensures that all women in our region and their families with a possible or confirmed diagnosis of fetal abnormality faced with extremely difficult experiences and decisions have the best and most responsive care.”

Hayley and Rachel will be encouraged to become Midwifery Ambassadors, taking every opportunity to raise the profile of their profession, both in public and within the hospital with their colleagues and students to help improve and transform the perception of the midwifery profession.

“I want to demonstrate that the support we offer is for everyone – colleagues clinical and in admin and the people we look after equally,” said Hayley.

“We acknowledge that in supporting our teams we ensure they support the families when they need us.”

“I aim to continue to grow and improve our services with the support of our obstetric and midwifery colleagues and look forward to continuing to positively raise the profile and perception of specialist midwifery,” added Rachel.

“Thank you to all of you. I know it’s tough. I know we’ll get through this, but we can only do this together, supporting all the great work you are doing,” said Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.

“We know there are a lot of challenges, but I like to think of this as a recovery year as we can draw strength from the positive messages we hear about the work going on here.”

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