Kate Stringer and Sarah Prime, both midwives at East Surrey Hospital, have been commended for their contribution to midwifery practice in a special accolade presented to them by the chief midwifery officer at NHS England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.

The chief midwifery officer awards were developed to recognise the enormous range of skills, expertise, and enduring compassion that modern midwifery represents.

As part of a visit to East Surrey Hospital, which is ran by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), Professor Dunkley-Bent presented both Kate and Sarah with a silver award, which is awarded to recipients who have demonstrated excellence in clinical practice, leadership resulting in improvement, championing diversity and inclusion.

The awards are given by the chief midwifery officer to recognise colleagues who have gone above and beyond.

Sarah had been nominated for her significant work to improve safety and risk management in relation to the Saving Babies Lives care bundle.

Kate has provided invaluable support during periods of significant pressure alongside introducing a number of innovations to improve the experience for local women.

Professor Dunkley-Bent was appointed as England’s first Chief Midwifery Officer in 2019 to improve care for new and expectant mothers and their children and promote safer births in England. Before securing the role she was a midwife and a nurse, and held senior positions in clinical practice, education, leadership and management.

Michelle Cudjoe, director of midwifery and divisional chief nurse for women and child health at SASH, said:

“Kate and Sarah are shining examples of what makes midwifery so special. It’s been such a busy time and they have gone above and beyond to support our whole team and introduce ways of working that improve safety for local families.”

SASH’s maternity service is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission and around 5,000 babies are born under the Trust’s care each year.