Midwives from Wales and the South West were honored at the inaugural Wales & South West Maternity & Midwifery Festival Awards last week.

The Maternity and Midwifery Forum Awards took place at Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday 20th September, with the big winners on the day including Emma Mills, Clinical Research Midwife and Louise Taylor, Consultant Midwife of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; BMid@Cardiff (Bachelor of Midwifery @ Cardiff University); Bethan Jones, Student Midwife, University of South Wales and Suzanne Hardacre, Head of Midwifery and Senior Nurse, University Hospital of Wales.

The awards were presented by Conference chair and Midwifery Consultant, Sue Macdonald alongside keynote speaker Professor Jean White CBE, Chief Nursing Officer, Welsh Government.

Discussing the awards Sue said “This was the first Wales & South West Maternity & Midwifery Festival, and I was delighted to be part of awarding these very special MMF Awards. This is a way of recognising the talent, motivation and excellence of midwives and student midwives involved in the Welsh and South West Maternity Services.

Midwives tend to be modest, are always busy, and don’t usually shout about what they do, and so it is great to be able to highlight the winners, and the commended individuals and teams.   

The standard of submission was fantastic, so our judges had to work hard to select the winners, including a fantastic student midwife, a visionary and supportive midwife manager, an innovative education team and a creative individual midwife.”

Watch the Wales & South West Maternity & Midwifery Festival Awards 2018

Winners & Highly Commended Nominees

Emma Mills, Clinical Research Midwife and Louise Taylor, Consultant Midwife, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
Emma Mills, Clinical Research Midwife and Louise Taylor, Consultant Midwife, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

The MMF Innovation Award was won by Emma Mills, Clinical Research Midwife and Louise Taylor, Consultant Midwife, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for their forthcoming book on positive birth stories called ‘Your Birth: A collection of stories from Midwifery Led Areas’. The book will be released on October 10th 2018. All royalties from the book will be invested into midwifery led services at the health board including training for midwives in yoga and hypnobirthing, as well as improving the birth environment.

MMF Team Award Winners
The BMid@Cardiff (Bachelor of Midwifery) Cardiff University team

The MMF Team Award was a hotly contested category with a great number of nominations received, however it was the team from Cardiff University behind the BMid@Cardiff (Bachelor of Midwifery at Cardiff University) who were victorious. BMid@Cardiff who have the prestigious designation of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development were praised for providing student midwives with a very different kind of education, with 50% of their midwifery students undertaking a placement abroad. Highly commended in this category were the Inter-professional Maternity Teaching Team at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and the ELAN Team from Cardriff and Vale University Health Board.

Bethan Jones, Student Midwife, University of South Wales
Bethan Jones, Student Midwife, University of South Wales

The newly qualified Bethan Jones who was until recently a Student Midwife at the University of South Wales scooped the Student Midwife of the Year Award. Judges were impressed with Bethan’s prodigious commitment to making a difference. Raising funds for a Baby Mermorial Garden at Llywdcoed Crmeatorium she clined Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. She has worked to raise awareness of stroke in pregnancy, organising an event and using social media to share with other midwifery students via Facebook. With a background in counselling before going on her course she had developed a strong interest in that most difficult challenge, that of a bereavement midwife.

Suzanne Hardacre, Head of Midwifery and Senior Nurse, University Hospital of Wales
Suzanne Hardacre, Head of Midwifery and Senior Nurse, University Hospital of Wales

Suzanne Hardacre, Head of Midwifery and Senior Nurse, University Hospital of Wales was awarded the MMF Management Award. Suzanne was nominated by a nurse, not a midwife, not by management or clinicians but by someone who had experienced her management and who thought her management skills were 1st class. And who also credits her with saving her career

The story was of a nurse practitioner, menopausal and being diagnosed with dyslexia – a classic case of someone who expected she would have to leave and be lost to the service.

But this manager didn’t see dyslexia as a disability, used staff resilience days, and stress reduction techniques including yoga classes to rebuild this one nurse practitioners confidence. There were numerous other examples of Suzanne’s great management technique, including excellent patience satisfaction surveys.

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