England’s most senior midwife has paid a visit to Lister Hospital in Stevenage to surprise two members of the maternity team with awards – recognising them for going above and beyond.
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE – chief midwifery officer for England – said it was an “absolute privilege” meeting NHS staff based at Lister’s Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit on Tuesday (10 May), before revealing that two Silver Chief Midwifery Officer Awards were also going to be presented on the day.
Katie Chilton, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s directory of midwifery, and multiple pregnancy specialist midwife Dionne Thompson both received the accolade – which recognises major contributions to women and the profession.
Katie, who first qualified as a nurse in 1987 and then as a midwife in 1991, was nominated for being an “exceptional, experienced and passionate nurse whose core ambition in life is to make a difference to the experience of women and their unborn, and new-born babies.”
Dionne – who is one of the Trust’s ethnic minority ambassadors – was nominated for her pioneering “support of minority ethnic staff and women, challenging inequalities and encouraging information sharing and for colleagues to speak up”, and was also praised for being a “magnificent multiple pregnancy specialist midwife”.
Professor Dunkley-Bent – who was joined by Wendy Olayiwola, the national maternity lead for equality at NHS England and Improvement – said the awards for Katie and Dionne were “so well deserved”.
The Trust’s chief nurse, Rachael Corser, added: “I am so proud of Katie, Dionne and the whole maternity team for the high-quality care they are providing every day, and the national recognition they have received is richly deserved.
“Thank you to Jacqueline and Wendy for making the day – which followed some wonderful celebrations for International Day of the Midwife just a few days before – so special.”