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Maternity Worker Wins National Award

Maternity Worker Wins National Award

Janet Ashton.jpg

Maternity Support (MSW) at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has won one of the UK’s top midwifery prizes at the The Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery awards.

MSW Janet Ashton scooped the Pregnacare Maternity Support Worker of the Year Award. She was nominated by her Manager Jo Harman; this joint initiative was supported by Children Centre Manager and Janet’s Community Team Leader to set up classes for women and their partners, to support them with breast feeding and caring for their new baby.

The classes started by Janet were started to meet the needs of new parents supporting them to learn basic skills in caring for their babies. The focus initially was on parents in areas of high deprivation and the classes are now run in community Children’s Centre that all parents in the community can easily attend.

A range of topics are covered in the classes including breast and bottle feeding, nappy changing, bathing and cord Care. Feedback from parents has been very positive and the class is now being expanded to the wider community.

The award judges praised Janet’s work saying, “she is the gold standard other health care workers want to aspire to. She demonstrated a wealth of knowledge and experience to develop this existing initiative in Bexley. Evaluation of her work has been rigorous. Breastfeeding rates and parent engagement has increased. This has empowered women, boosting their confidence and self esteem."

Janet was presented with her award at the Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery Awards at a ceremony in The Brewery, London on the 7th March 2017. The ceremony was hosted by journalist and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinski.

Ursula Marsh, Assistant Head of Midwifery said “we are extremely proud of Janet and all she has achieved. Her hard work and dedication to our new mums and their babies is exceptional”

Susanne Bisinotto, Marketing Manager for Pregnacare vitamins said: "This award recognises Janet’s exemplary provision of breastfeeding and baby care information and support for new mothers in the local community. Janet’s determination and engaging style has truly made a difference. She has proven herself to be an invaluable asset to mothers, their babies and the wider maternity care team."

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “To win an award is a real achievement. MSWs like Janet play a vital role within the maternity care team, her work not only frees up midwives and neo-natal nurses time, but also improves the care women and their babies receive. I congratulate Janet on this achievement and thank her and her colleagues for their dedication, skill and commitment to mothers, babies and their families.”