We are delighted that the Midwifery team at the L&D scooped two awards at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) 2020 Awards.
The Awards announcement of the winners was launched on Tuesday 5 May to coincide with International Day of the Midwife, running throughout the week, as sadly the glitzy awards do in London was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Nevertheless, there was cause for celebration. Huge congratulations to Helen Kerr, Eleanor Ritchie and Patricia Ryan, who won the RCM ‘Caring for You’ award which acknowledged the outstandingly positive and supportive culture in the team, which was brought to life by a plan they put in place to support grieving colleagues when community midwife Steph O’Kane died last year.
The midwives put in place resources and adjusted working patterns to allow staff to grieve and carry on working, ensuring they were looking after each other, themselves and the women in their care.
Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM said: “This is an incredible story of caring for each other and coming together to remember a much-loved midwife and colleague. It not only shows how important it is to look after each other but doing it also to support staff to continue their work caring for women, babies and their families during a very difficult time.
“This initiative has also put in place a support system will also keep paying benefits into the future. What Helen, Eleanor and Patricia have done is the very essence of the RCM’s Caring for You campaign, and they are truly inspirational and worthy winners of this award.”
Trish Ryan, Head of Midwifery at the L&D from 2014 until February of this year, was a separate individual winner, of the RCM ‘Leadership Award’. She was nominated by her team in recognition of her outstanding leadership – her passion for midwifery, for the women in her care, and her empowering approach. Trish now works at Northampton General Hospital.
And well done too to the L&D’s Phoenix Team, who were finalists in the Team of the Year category. They are a dedicated team of specialist midwives at the L&D who work specifically with vulnerable women and families, for example those who have been victims of domestic abuse, those with mental health issues, or learning disabilities.
To families of all our patients, we wanted to give a reminder that sadly, at both Bedford and the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, we are still unable to allow any visitors on site, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example in maternity or children’s departments, or for those patients who are receiving palliative treatment at the end of their lives, on a case-by-case basis.
At Bedford we will call one designated member of family every day between 1.30pm and 4.30pm with a daily phone update. Those who miss a call back during this time and are concerned can contact the helpline on 01234 730500.
For the Luton & Dunstable, we are offering a dedicated Next of Kin helpline for family members who want to check up on their loved ones – please nominate one family member to call 01582 718884 between 8am and 6pm.