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Two NGH projects shortlisted for national midwifery awards

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Midwives Anne Richley, Sally O’Connell, Bobby Williams from the homebirth team; midwife Nedyalka Apostolova, supervisor of midwives Krystyna Grey, midwife Ivelina Doncheva, representing the European midwives education programme.

Two innovative projects designed and implemented by Northampton General Hospital’s maternity unit have been shortlisted for a national award by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

The introduction of a homebirth team has been shortlisted in the ‘implementing government policy’ category of the 2011 RCM Annual Midwifery Awards, and an educational programme for midwives from Europe in the category for ‘excellence in midwifery education’.

The launch of the NGH homebirth team in April has enabled the unit to offer more choice to women, and to handle more efficiently the rising number of homebirths in the local area. In the first six months of operation the team received 500 referrals, and homebirths now account for around seven per cent of all NGH births – one of the highest rates in the country.

The team is led by senior midwives Anne Richley, Bobby Williams and Sally O’Connell. Anne said: “Having a dedicated team of 12 midwives to focus on home births means that we can provide a high quality service. We also provide antenatal and postnatal care of the women who choose to birth at home, and the feedback we are getting is that women are delighted with the way we look after them. Staff are reporting an increase in job satisfaction too, and there is better continuity and communication across the whole of the NGH maternity service as a result.”

An educational programme to enhance the knowledge and skills of midwives from Europe was developed by Dr Sarah Church, senior lecturer in midwifery at the University of Northampton, in partnership with the hospital. NGH supervisor of midwives Krystyna Grey said: “We are seeing an increase in applications from midwives trained within mainland Europe, and this programme was developed to offer them appropriate support. It’s designed to enhance their knowledge and skills, and help them to apply those within the context of UK practice.

 “The programme is not a means of assessing their competency, it is about introducing registered midwives to the culture and organisation, the provision and delivery of midwifery care in the UK. Midwives who have completed the programme say it has boosted their confidence as well as their technical knowledge, and that of course helps us provide a better quality of care for the women we support.”

Staff involved with both projects say that they are delighted that their work has been recognised, and are looking forward to the award finals, due to take place on 19 January 2011 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington

Posted on Monday 20th December 2010