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Media Release

Date: 26 January 2017

Chippenham birth centre midwife wins top honour

Chippenham Birth Centre midwife Pam Walsh, who works for the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded the Emma's Diary Mums' Midwife of the Year 2017 for the South of England region.

The prestigious award is one of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, recognising the remarkable work done by inspiring midwives across the country.

Pam was nominated by local mum Melissa Glover, who said: "Pam gave me the confidence I needed to deal with my anxieties of loving my baby and becoming a single mother. I couldn't have done it without her."

Melissa suffered from depression for a number of years prior to becoming pregnant. Once pregnant, she found herself single with her anxiety and depression snowballing. Melissa said she felt incredibly fortunate to have met Pam at the start of her pregnancy when she was feeling low, struggling with a loss of a relationship and worried about what the future may hold. Pam supported Melissa throughout, for both her pregnancy and her depression, did not judge her situation and gave her the confidence to see the pregnancy through to become a great mum to a beautiful baby girl, Cora.

Melissa said: "I will never forget the first moment I met Pam. I was not in a good place, but Pam comforted me immediately and continued to do so throughout the course of my pregnancy."

Pam said: "I felt incredibly humbled and honoured that Melissa had taken the time to enter me for this amazing award. To me it isn't just a job, it's about building relationships with girls like Melissa. Understanding their problems and listening to their worries allows us to encourage and support them in the best possible way, ensuring they have the best starts with their babies."

Emma's Diary, the UK's support resource for mums to be and new parents, and the RCM received a record 747 nominations from mums across the UK, highlighting just how important the midwife's role is. All entries were put through a rigorous judging process by a panel of representatives from both the RCM and Emma's Diary, resulting in seven regional winners.

The RCM's Annual Awards, now in its 15th year, will be hosted for the third consecutive year by news and TV presenter and mother-of-two, Kate Silverton, on 7th March 2017. Pam will join the six other regional winners at a central London awards ceremony, where Pam will collect her trophy and find out who will be awarded the overall national winner.

Faye Mingo, Emma's Diary's marketing director, comments "Sponsoring this award for a second year has been an absolute highlight for Emma's Diary. Once again, the experience has been truly humbling and we've been in awe at the stories of exceptional compassion and tender nurturing, demonstrated by hundreds of brilliant midwives across the UK. Each nomination conveyed a level of care and dedication that makes such a huge difference to a mum and their family's life. We are delighted for Pam, who is so deserving of this extra recognition."

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said, "What is so important about winning this award is that it comes from the mothers that midwives have cared for. There is no better indication of the quality of care than that of the mother, so Pam should be hugely proud of this achievement. Pam has gone above and beyond to deliver high quality, woman-centred care and I congratulate her for her commitment, dedication and for caring so much about the care she gives.

"All of us can learn from midwives like Pam. She is a shining example to me, and I hope for other midwives who will be inspired by her example."

ENDS

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