One of the longest serving community midwives, at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has received a nomination for a prestigious British Journal of Midwifery Practice Award. (BMJ).
Jacqueline Brocklehurst, 56, from Oldham, has worked as a midwife for more than 30 years. She started working in the local community as a midwife in the Denton area and has since led a dramatic transformation of maternity services at Tameside Hospital, encouraging more mothers to have home births. Consequently women are supported in their choice of where and how to birth.
In 2004 Jackie took over as the lead for the development and implementation of the Midwifery Led Care (MLC) Pathway that includes home birth. The number of women who embark on the MLC pathway has increased to over 30% of all women who book to give birth within the Tameside and Glossop area. These women will go on to birth in the MLC facility or at home.
She said: “It is very flattering to be recognised for the work I do – and totally unexpected. I think home births are fantastic way to give birth. I always find that the mothers are more relaxed and tend to have a much more comfortable labour in a familiar environment with all their family around them. Giving birth is a scary experience but it is also really beautiful and I feel privileged to be a part of that.
“We have a fantastic record here at Tameside and our home birth rate is higher than the national average.”
Jackie is now running a series of bespoke training workshops in the hospital for the other midwives and paramedics to provide them with further training into home births.
As well as her day job Jackie does a lot of fundraising work to raise funds to furnish the MLC facility.
Head of Midwifery and Women’s Services at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lesley Tones, nominated Jackie for the award. She said: “Without a doubt, Jackie is an inspiration and a fantastic role model to midwives and students in particular and really deserves to be recognised for her work.
“She really is an unsung heroine of the profession. She goes about her business quietly but assertively as a midwife supporting women and their families without question. There isn’t a week that goes by without Jackie (or her team) receiving a commendation or a letter of thanks from women and their families. “Jackie is unique because she really tries to give the woman and their families the personal touch. Individualised women’s care is at the centre of what she does. She will always do whatever is necessary to ensure women are fully
supported in their birthing journey.”