Midwifery graduates awarded by NHS England for exceptional work

Mon 13 March, 2023
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Two University of Bedfordshire alumni have been awarded the prestigious NHS Chief Midwife Officer’s Silver Award, presented to midwives for exceeding the expectations of their everyday role.

Michelle Causer and Jo Duke are both midwifery graduates from the University’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. They now work passionately to make a difference in the local community in various ways, including through their clinical practice, leadership and by championing diversity and inclusion.

Michelle, who currently works as a Perinatal Mental Health Midwife based at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital site, graduated from Bedfordshire in 2012 with a degree in BSc (Hons) Midwifery. She was recognised for setting up an established Perinatal Mental Health pathway at Bedford Hospital and recruiting into a specialist post to continue the pathway.

Speaking about being awarded this accolade, Michelle said: “It is beyond overwhelming and very humbling to have received the award. It is such a privilege to work alongside a fantastic team and with some of our most vulnerable women developing pathways to enable them to have access to specialist services locally as well as always making sure that mental health has parity of esteem with physical health in maternity care.”

Fellow alumni Jo, a Community Midwife, hit the headlines in August last year after undertaking a CO (carbon monoxide) Monitoring Assessment on one of her then-pregnant patients which led to the detection of a boiler leak in the patient’s home. This early assessment by Jo potentially saved the mother-to-be and her unborn baby’s lives.

Jo said: “My job as a community midwife is hugely rewarding and I enjoy caring for all patients. The carbon monoxide testing is a very small element of the care I provide but crucial in ensuring women and their families are safe. Detection of unsafe levels from old or faulty boilers has occurred on a few occasions and actions have then been taken to minimise risk.

“I greatly appreciate receiving the silver Chief Midwifery Officer Award, as it recognises what all community midwives do as part of their care.”

Jo studied at Bedfordshire from 2011, undertaking a Pre-Registration to Midwife course, and graduated in 2014. She then enrolled on a Postgraduate course in 2015 and obtained a certificate in Medical Education.

Amanda Willetts, Portfolio Lead and Principal Lecturer for Midwifery at the University of Bedfordshire, congratulated Michelle and Jo on their awards: “We are extremely proud to work alongside our midwifery alumni and partners at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and would like to extend our congratulations to Michelle and Jo for receiving these awards in recognition of their dedication to women, children and their families, and the midwifery profession.”

While studying midwifery courses at Bedfordshire, students have access to on-campus simulation labs which help to mimic real-life conditions, providing hands-on experience and practice opportunities outside of a real-life hospital setting. Alongside these facilities, the University has a partnership with the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to help teach student midwives, nurses, paramedics and health workers how to reach their potential.

To find out more about studying midwifery and other healthcare courses at the University of Bedfordshire, visit the School Of Nursing & Health Education‘s webpage.


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