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Manchester midwives celebrate International Women’s Day with national award wins

Midwives from Saint Mary's Hospital, Manchester have won two of the UK's top midwifery prizes at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards today.

The midwives were presented with their awards at the Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery Awards at a ceremony in The Brewery, London on International Women's Day, 8th March.  The ceremony was hosted by journalist and broadcaster Kate Silverton.

Specialist midwives Marie Zsigmond, Amanda Lewis and Siobhan O'Neill have won the Team of the Year Award for their project to identify and support potential victims of trafficking (PVoT).

The team worked closely with other agencies including the police, Home Office and social services. Other initiatives include mandatory training for staff to recognise the signs of human trafficking to promote networking, share information, and develop response strategies and training.

Safeguarding teamMarie, Amanda and Siobhan said:

"We are overwhelmed by being nominated, shortlisted and then winning this wonderful accolade. Midwives from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had gathered at the ceremony and without sounding like a cliché, we all fell like winners prior to the announcement!

"We hope that this award heightens awareness nationally of trafficking and the vulnerability of the victims during pregnancy, and the urgency of the appropriate response in order to protect both the women and their children.

"The Safeguarding Midwives played an important part in Operation Portsmouth which included the Police, Home Office and Social Care, but also all the midwives in Saint Mary's Hospital have been essential in recognising the first point of concern in identifying these victims."

Karen Connolly, Director of Saint Mary's Hospital said:

"We're thrilled that our midwives have been recognised for their work, at such a prestigious national event.

"We're incredibly proud of the work they do, and I am really pleased for them to have received these awards."

Midwife Kirsti Redfern has also won the JOHNSON'S® Mentor of the Year Award. Kirsti was nominated for the award by midwifery student Shannon Hogan.

In her nomination Shannon described how Kirsti went out of her way to ensure that she was placed with women on the unit whose clinical situation most met her learning needs.

KirstiShannon described Kirsti as selfless and a midwife who at all times considered the needs of the woman, while balancing the need for Shannon to gain the right experience to learn and develop in her placement.

Shannon said: "Kirsti encouraged me to immerse myself fully in all the learning opportunities she could provide for me and she really made me remember why I want to be a midwife.  After each shift Kirsti ensured that I was fully debriefed following whatever events had occurred and allowed me time to reflect on practice and ask any questions I felt needed answering. I feel privileged to have worked with such an outstanding midwife."

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "To win an award is a real achievement.

"Without midwives, their teams and colleagues from other health professions pushing at the boundaries of practice we would not see the care they are able to give to women, babies and their families improve and move forward. This is innovation in action which will help maternity services everywhere to deliver safer, better and continually improving care.

"I congratulate all these women on their achievement and thank them and their colleagues for their dedication, skill and commitment to mothers, babies and their families."

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/rcm-awards-2016.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a leading provider of specialist healthcare services in Manchester, treating more than a million patients every year. Its seven specialist hospitals (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Saint Mary's Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Trafford General and Altrincham Hospital) and community services are home to hundreds of world class clinicians and academic staff committed to finding patients the best care and treatments. www.cmft.nhs.uk @CMFTNHS

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.