Nation's most senior midwife praises East Lancashire maternity services

Chief Midwifery Officer Professor Dunkley-Bent with East Lancashire maternity staff
Chief Midwifery Officer Professor Dunkley-Bent with East Lancashire maternity staff

The nation's most senior midwife visited Burnley's Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre on one of her first official visits.

NHS England’s new Chief Midwifery Officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent immediately accepted an invitation to visit Burnley General Teaching Hospital to see for herself how staff in the Trust’s Maternity Services ensure better care for parents and babies.

The centre, run by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, was the first in the UK to receive the UNICEF Baby Friendly Gold Accreditation in 2018.

Staff involved in achieving the accreditation presented the programme of work to Professor Dunkley-Bent and her colleagues.

The highlight of the visit was the presentation of Chief Midwifery Awards to several of East Lancashire Hospitals’ outstanding Maternity Services staff. Midwives Maria Williamson, Louise Slater, Sarah Johnson, the Central Birth Suite and the Antenatal Ward Team received silver awards, and a gold award was presented to Baby Friendly Lead, Sue Henry.

The Awards recognise performance that goes above and beyond the everyday role that a midwife is expected to perform in their current role.

Sue Henry, ELHT’s Baby Friendly Lead who received a Gold Chief Midwifery Award, said: “I am honoured to have received this award from Professor Dunkley-Bent. I have been a midwife for 25 years, and I couldn’t be prouder of the achievements we have made as a Trust, which have made a big difference to expectant and new mums, and their families, across East Lancashire.

“I hope to continue this good work in the future, and we would welcome Professor Dunkley-Bent and her team back to visit our services anytime."

Professor Dunkley-Bent said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my visits to some of the maternity services provided in East Lancashire, and it was a pleasure to present awards to staff and teams who are so passionate about what they do. I hope to see the continuation and development of these brilliant services when I next return to East Lancashire."