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'Incredible' maternity care earns regional award


Maternity staff at Oxford University Hospitals have won an award in recognition of exceptional care delivered to a woman who gave birth having previously experienced loss.

The Women's Centre team, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, was named as the regional winner for the South East in the UK MUM (Maternity Unit Marvels) Awards, run by charity Baby Lifeline, in October 2023.

Mother Hannah Mack made the nomination, praising the support and care she received during her recent pregnancy. Hannah lost baby Eva in January 2022 as a result of serious cardiac abnormalities and gave birth to her rainbow baby, William, on 6 December 2022. A 'rainbow baby' is a baby born after the parents have a pregnancy loss.

Hannah said: "We lost our precious baby girl, Eva, at 33 weeks due to serious complex heart defects. The only thing that made the experience survivable was the incredible support and care we received at the John Radcliffe, particularly from our Bereavement Midwife, Candice Noonan. It was the outstanding care that we received that got us through the experience in one piece."

Candice, who joined a group of OUH representatives at an award ceremony at Downing Street, said: "I feel so privileged to be part of such an amazing team, and to win this incredible award for the region is just the cherry on the top. To be noticed for simply doing what you love feels so special, and for part of the celebration to be an evening in Downing Street is just a once in a lifetime experience.

"Thank you to Hannah and William for the beautiful nomination and thank you to the judging panel for choosing us as the Maternity Unit Marvels 2023 – regional winner for the South East."

Ella Walker, a Community Midwife at OUH who also cared for Hannah and her family, said: "I feel honoured to have attended Downing Street reception and the gala dinner to celebrate our amazing Trust winning this award.

"The nomination was close to my heart after caring for the family as their community midwife through a loss, and then again with their rainbow baby. It was inspiring to hear all the other nominations and I felt proud to be part of such an amazing event. Huge well done to OUH."

Lawrence Impey, Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine at OUH, said: "To be nominated by a woman we cared for and to be recognised in this way, both as individuals and as a unit for the difficult work that we do, is a boost to the whole team."

The awards, run by national charity Baby Lifeline, give parents, guardians and families the chance to say thank you to the team of professionals who made the birth of their child possible. The judging panel included Dame Ruth May and Donna Ockenden.

Pictured: Members of the OUH Maternity team celebrate the award