Three members of the midwifery team at West Suffolk Hospital have been recognised for their outstanding work.
The trio have won annual awards given out in memory of Hannah Seeley, an exemplary midwife who worked at the hospital and tragically passed away in a road traffic accident in 2012.
The winners were nominated by colleagues across three award categories and were chosen based on the number of nominations they received. Although the Trust was unable to hold the usual awards ceremony due to social distancing, the winners were presented with their trophies individually.
The awards, which have been running since 2013, cover three categories:
- Midwife of the year
- Support worker of the year
- Student midwife of the year
The winner of midwife of the year was Jacqui Clarke, who has worked at the Trust since 1987, for her above and beyond care to both colleagues and mums. One of her colleagues said: “Jacqui is the midwife you always want to work a shift with. She is kind, caring, professional, supportive but also has a sense of humour and a listening ear for those times when you need it.”
On winning her award, Jacqui said: “It felt so special that my colleagues had made the effort to vote for me in what has been such a busy and sometimes difficult time for us all.
“I had the pleasure of working with Hannah, so it has an extra special meaning to me as she was a lovely person and a great midwife.”
Kimberley Morton-Smith, who joined the Trust in 2019, picked up the support worker of the year award. One of her colleagues nominated her for ‘friendly and approachable’ manner, and for being a fantastic asset to the team.
The student midwife of the year award was taken home by Frances Morter, who is in her third year of her placement. She was nominated for her ‘passion’ and ‘dedication’ she shows when caring for both mother and baby.
Karen Newbury, head of midwifery, said: “As everyone is aware, 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for us all, 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 in 2020 is a fitting testament to our inspirational staff.
“In the face of so much adversity this year, Jacqui, Kimberley and Frances have still truly gone above and beyond. I want to personally thank them for their dedication to parents and their babies over the year. Thank you.
“I would also like to thank Hannah Seeley’s family, who have yet again supported these awards – Hannah was a role model midwife and beautiful person inside and out. We will always remember Hannah with such fondness and these awards are just a small part of her fantastic legacy at our Trust.”
In the past two years, West Suffolk Hospital’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.