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10 March 2016

Sheffield midwives win two top UK awards

Ground-breaking Sheffield service for pregnant women having a breech birth and a midwife who goes above and beyond to support fellow midwives wins national awards

Midwives in Sheffield have won two of the UK’s top midwifery prizes at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards.

The Citywide 1:1 service from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, won the RCM Award for Excellence in Maternity Care for their Breech Birth Service.

The project aims to ensure better choice for women about how they give birth when their baby is in the breech position.

In collaboration with obstetricians the midwives developed a tailored service for women expecting a breech birth. This is when the baby is bottom down, instead of head down.

The aim of the service is to ensure that women are able to make a fully informed choice about how they want to give birth, either to plan for a normal birth or a delivery by caesarean section. The service includes the use of information films donated by other breech mothers and extensive counselling from the Sheffield Breech Team.

The team also regularly attend specialist conferences on breech birth and have monthly skills training and updating. Every birth is reviewed to ensure that any learning points are integrated into the care of women using the service. The team are launching a specialist breech birth clinic in Spring 2016, to further enhance the care women receive and hosted an international conference in 2014. This will be repeated in 2017, ensuring international expertise is shared in Sheffield.

The service has led to an improved experience for women. It has reduced the number of unnecessary caesarean sections and around two-thirds of all the women planning a vaginal breech birth are able to achieve a normal birth. Follow-up contact with women who have used the service is showing ongoing positive emotional effects. They felt more empowered and respected as partners in developing the service.
The service is also proving an inspiration for other maternity services. The team are regularly giving information to colleagues in other parts of the UK who are interested in developing a similar service like ours. The Sheffield Breech Service team members regularly teach across the UK to share the skills they have developed with those trusts interested in developing a similar service.

The judges described the project as “totally inspiring, innovative and passionate. (It) identified a particular problem in their area and did something about it without extra funds. It was a well-grounded in the policy agenda. It was a privilege to listen to them.”

The second award went to Ann Gillot, a midwife from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has jointly won the RCM Members’ Champion Award.

Over the years Ann has fostered a good relationship with HR and senior managers at the Trust. As an experienced workplace rep, Ann independently advises and represents members through a wide range of processes. Ann has supported and advised members’ on a wide range of issues, always willing to go the extra mile.

Ann has introduced pension seminars for members. She also played a pivotal role in the dissemination of information to members during the RCM’s pay campaign, organising meetings and walk arounds in order that RCM members were fully informed.

Dotty Watkins, Head of Midwifery for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our midwives have won these prestigious national awards. Ann provides fantastic support to her colleagues, often going above and beyond her duties to ensure they are kept up-to-date with developments within the service, industry and the RCM.

“The Citywide 1:1 team provides bespoke, non-judgmental support and care to a diverse range of women, who often have highly complex needs due to learning disabilities, mental health problems or previous trauma. Evidence from research shows that all women benefit from continuity of care and that includes women with complicated pregnancies. This award highlights that a woman’s right to make complex choices can be supported through the NHS model of care, and that women who may otherwise have disengaged from maternity services can be supported to have positive birth experiences.”

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “To win an award is a real achievement.

“I congratulate Ann for her efforts in supporting her colleagues and the Citywide 1:1 team on this achievement and thank them and their colleagues for their dedication, skill and commitment to vulnerable mothers, babies and their families.”

For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/rcm-awards-2016 

Ends

 

Media Contact:

Andrew Johnson, Communications Officer

Tel: 0114 2265033
Email: andrew.johnson@sth.nhs.uk



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