Two midwives from Lister Hospital in Stevenage have had a special delivery of their own as England’s most senior midwife recognised them for going above and beyond – with one of the shielding award winners receiving the news with an unexpected knock at the door.
In recognition of their major contributions to patients and the midwife profession, diabetic specialist Sascha Koutrouza and multiple birth specialist Pam Langford both received prestigious Chief Midwifery Officer Awards during a socially-distanced event held at the Hertfordshire hospital on Tuesday 20 October.
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE – the first chief midwifery officer for England – praised and thanked the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust maternity team for their “phenomenal” work, before revealing she would also be giving out two awards during her visit which was broadcast to colleagues via a group video call.
Sascha – who was watching the events unfold while shielding at home – then received a knock at the door from Wendy Matthews, chief midwifery officer for the East of England, who presented the Lister midwife with a silver award for “going above and beyond”.
Pam was equally taken aback when England’s deputy chief midwifery officer Jessica Reed – who was also in attendance at the event, held in a non-clinical area of the hospital – announced she too would be receiving the same national recognition.
Sascha received the honour for running an entirely virtual support service for women with diabetes so they can avoid non-essential contact, while Pam was recognised for creating a pathway for women at the Lister’s Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit who are experiencing a multiple pregnancy to ensure there is support every step of the way.
Afterwards, Professor Dunkley-Bent – who is responsible for driving improvements in care for new and expectant mothers, building increased safety and support in maternity care and promoting safer births as part of Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review, and the NHS Long Term Plan – said:
“It was an absolute honour and a privilege to give Pam and Sascha silver Chief Midwifery Officer Awards for their significant contribution to midwifery care.
“What I have seen and heard is really positive, and speaks volumes about who you are and what you do.”
Katie Chilton, head of midwifery and gynaecology at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, added: “I am so proud of Pam, Sascha and the whole team for the high-quality care they are providing every day, and the national recognition they have received is richly deserved.
“The celebratory event could not have gone any better, and I would like to thank Jacqueline, Jessica and Wendy for making it so special.”