News posted 3 October, 2022

Surprise delivery for award winning Kathy

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The country’s top midwife – Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent – dropped into Saint Mary’s with a golden delivery for Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Kathy Murphy.

Kathy is Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Saint Mary’s Managed Clinical Service, which is part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

Kathy scooped the prestigious national Chief Midwifery Officer’s Gold Award for her outstanding work and contributions to midwifery services.

Now in her 40th year of working for the NHS as a nurse and midwife, Kathy was presented the award by Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England at a small ceremony at Saint Mary’s Hospital on Oxford Road.

The Chief Midwifery Officer’s Silver and Gold Awards recognise and celebrate midwives who go above and beyond their roles, providing “excellent leadership and inspiration every day to their colleagues, mums and their families”.

Kathy, from Heywood, said: “I began my midwifery training in June 1987, after deciding to follow a friend’s career path into the health service in October 1985. I thought it would be a good profession to progress in – it’ll be 40 years this autumn since I started!

“This was a surprise for me to win this award – it’s been a real team effort by our midwifery service staff across Greater Manchester. This Chief Midwifery Officer’s Gold Award is not only my work but should be attributed to all my colleagues.

“Our aim is to be the best across all three of our maternity units, on Oxford Road in central Manchester, Wythenshawe Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital. We ensure that we continue to have improved outcomes for our women and babies. I work with an amazing team and simply wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

The maternity service is the largest in the country, employing 820 midwives and delivering 16,500 babies each year across its three maternity units – the hospitals welcome approximately 50 babies being born every day.

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who presented the Gold Award, added: “It is clear to see that Kathy and her team are totally committed to their work. Their innovative, dedicated and engaging approach has helped to further improve the quality of care for mums, babies and families across Manchester.”

Part of Kathy’s work included producing a booklet on midwifery for pupils in schools to encourage year eight and nine students from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to go into the profession. Research had shown that midwives from a similar heritage to the women they care for can improve patient experience in hospital and lead to safer births.

The maternity service also won the Royal College of Midwives’ Midwifery Service of the Year Award 2021 for the exceptional standard and safety of care provided to women throughout the pandemic.