A member of staff from Poole Hospital’s maternity unit has been named the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Maternity Support Worker of the Year for 2019.
Gemma Douglas, a trainee nursing associate at the hospital’s St Mary’s maternity hospital, fought off competition from across the NHS to claim the prestigious national award at the RCM Awards 2019 in London on 5 March.
The award recognises the importance of maternity support workers in providing holistic care to women and their families.
Gemma has worked at the maternity hospital for 11 years and has been developing the role of a midwife support worker at the hospital. She has orchestrated a new project called ‘Time Out’ which provides support to those suffering anxiety as they wait for induction of labour.
“I still can’t believe I won the award,” said Gemma, who also attended a judging day in London to give a 25-minute presentation about her nomination in front of two RCM judges.
“It’s wonderful to be recognised for what you do and it’s a great sense of achievement to be appreciated.
“I am truly grateful to Jillian Ireland, our professional midwifery advocate, both for nominating me and supporting me in my development over the past two years.
“I have received many wonderful comments of congratulations from work colleagues past and present and I am honoured to be doing a job which I love.”
Jillian Ireland, a professional midwifery advocate at the hospital, was shortlisted for the supervisor/professional midwifery advocate award, which seeks to recognise those who demonstrate exceptional advocacy for midwives, promote a high standard of midwifery practice and are an inspiring and motivational role model.
“I am thrilled that Gemma and Jillian have been recognised on a national scale,” said Sandra Chitty, head of midwifery.
“They both completely deserve the exposure as they’re two tremendous members of staff who exemplify the high quality of care that we give.”