‘Kind and non-judgemental’ midwife scoops hospital award

(L to R) Sam Douglass, Cathy Adkins and Katy Edgar, winners of the annual midwifery awards at the We

(L to R) Sam Douglass, Cathy Adkins and Katy Edgar, winners of the annual midwifery awards at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUS

This year’s midwife of the year at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has said she feels “honoured” to receive the award.

Cathy Adkins, who has worked at the hospital trust since 2015, earned the accolade for her "extremely kind and welcoming" approach, not only to patients but also to fellow staff and student midwives.

The annual awards were held last month in memory of Hannah Seeley, an "exemplary" midwife who worked at West Suffolk Hospital and died in a road traffic accident in 2012.

Also to win were Sam Douglass, who picked up the support worker of the year award, and Katy Edgar, who has been named student midwife of the year.

Ms Adkins said: "It was such a wonderful surprise to have been awarded the Hannah Seeley Midwife of the Year award. I feel so honoured to have my name on the plaque with the amazing midwives who have received it before me."

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One of her colleagues said: "Cathy is a real advocate for women's choice and informed decision making and she supports women in a non-judgemental and kind manner."

For the awards colleagues nominated each other to recognise excellence in three categories and were chosen based on the number of nominations they received.

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Ms Douglass, who joined the trust in 2016, was described by colleagues as "never passing anybody without a smile and a hello".

Ms Edgar, who is in her third year of her placement, was nominated for "always going above and beyond".

Karen Newbury, head of midwifery at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT), said: "We have had a challenging year, but our amazing maternity staff have pulled together as they always do and continued to make us so proud.

"We received many strong nominations, and the fact almost 2,000 sets of parents have chosen to have their baby here so far in 2019 is a fitting testament to our inspirational staff.

"Cathy, Sam and Katy are three colleagues that truly go above and beyond, so they thoroughly deserve their respective awards. I want to personally thank them for everything they do - their hard work is second to none."

She said she also wanted to thank Miss Seeley's family, who have yet again supported these awards.

"Hannah was a caring and compassionate midwife who we will always remember with such fondness," she added.

In the past year WSFT's labour suite has been refurbished to a high standard, introducing new en-suite facilities, to ensure a welcoming and modern environment for both parents and staff.

The trust's maternity service also holds the internationally recognised Baby Friendly Award, founded by Unicef (United Nations Children's Fund) and the World Health Organisation.

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