Two midwives from Northampton General Hospital met The Princess Royal and The Duchess of Cambridge this week because of the contribution they have made to NHS maternity services.
Continuity of Care Team Lead, Fatima Ghaouch, and Former Community Midwifery Matron (now a bank midwife after retiring), Anne Richley met Princess Anne and Kate Middleton during their first official joint Royal engagement on Wednesday, April 27.
Fatima and Anne were invited to the event because they won Royal College of Midwives (RCM) excellence awards last October.
Anne was recognised for the innovative way she and her team provided community services for pregnant women at the height of the pandemic – including setting up support services in VIP boxes and other rooms at cinch Stadium in Franklins Gardens.
Fatima was recognised 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.
They were among a number of NHS staff from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland who met the Royals at the official opening of the new joint headquarters of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in London
Anne said: “It was very exciting and a great honour to be chosen to attend the official opening by The Princess Royal and The Duchess of Cambridge.
“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.
“We also spoke about progress in digitising maternity records and how we worked towards that during the pandemic.”
Fatima said: “It was amazing. 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 the Patron of the Royal College of Midwives and The Duchess of Cambridge is the Patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.