Northampton midwives get Royal seal of approval after winning excellence awards

NGH pair Fatima and Anne’s big night out with Princess Royal and Duchess of Cambridge

Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:44 pm

Two Northampton midwives got to meet royalty while being honoured for their contribution to NHS maternity services.

Continuity of Care Team lead Fatima Ghaouch and Anne Richley, a former community midwifery matron now a bank midwife since retiring, met the Princess Royal and Duchess of Cambridge at the official opening of a new joint HQ of the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London.

Fatima and Anne were invited after winning Royal College of Midwives excellence awards.

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NGH midwives Anne Richley (left) and Fatima Ghaouch at the big Royal opening

Anne was recognised for the innovative way she and her team provided community services for pregnant women at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, including setting up support services in VIP boxes and other rooms at Northampton Rugby Club.

Fatima, meanwhile, got an award for the work she and her team did to support women from different ethnic backgrounds and for raising awareness of racial inequalities during the pandemic.

Anne said: “It was very exciting and a great honour.

“I was introduced to Princess Anne and I spoke to her about the work my team and I had done during the pandemic to support pregnant women at a very difficult time.

“We talked about how the pandemic had enabled us to do things much faster and with less fuss than normal — cutting through red tape to get things done.”

Fatima added: “I was nervous about what it might be like but Princess Anne helped me to feel very relaxed and at ease. She asked my how long I had been a midwife and about my ambitions for the future.

“It was great to feel that the work my team and I had done together had received this amount of recognition.”

Northampton General Hospital’s interim director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, Debra Shanahan, said: “It is fantastic and very gratifying for our extremely hard-working midwives to be recognised at such an important and prestigious official opening.

“They and their teams are a credit to Northampton General Hospital and demonstrate the excellence in care we seek to achieve in midwifery.”

The Princess Royal is patron of the Royal College of Midwives and the Duchess is Patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.