Making a difference is important to Professional Midwifery Advocate Deborah Caine, and attending the Florence Nightingale leadership programme for nurses and midwives with a Windrush connection has enabled her to strengthen some of her key skills.
“I qualified as a midwife 19 years ago and have attended other leadership courses, but this was a special opportunity to make lasting connections with other BME midwives and nurses whose parents came to the UK in the 1950s and 1960s – mine were originally from St Vincent,” said Deborah.
“The skills we learned were excellent, particularly in the area of personal impact and the effect we have on others, and will definitely benefit me as I continue to develop my practice.”
As a Professional Midwifery Advocate, Deborah helps to provide safe care for mothers and babies by enabling members of the Midwifery team to reflect confidentially on their experiences, issues and concerns, taking action and initiating improvements where necessary. She is also a part-time Midwifery lecturer at UEA, and has recently returned from study leave – she is currently writing her PhD thesis on midwifery-led intra-partum care.
“I’ve been a lecturer since 2009 – it’s a wonderful opportunity to be involved in education and work with the next generation of midwives to help improve the service for women and their families,” she said. “I’ve been at NNUH throughout my career but also worked part-time at many London hospitals, including St George’s, King’s and St Thomas’s, to experience different environments and learn from them.
“As part of the Florence Nightingale programme, we were encouraged to initiate and lead an improvement project. Mine is to change the triage waiting room in Maternity to make it a more relaxing and caring environment for expectant mothers at what is often a stressful episode in their pregnancy. I’ve received a lot of support, particularly from the Maternity Voices Partnership and Improvement Manager Jessica Woodhouse, and it’s now an official Quality Improvement project.”
“I’m delighted that Deborah benefited so much from the programme,” said Chief Nurse Prof Nancy Fontaine, who encouraged her to attend. “Leadership is about making positive change and motivating and inspiring others. She’s a fantastic example of this, with an energy and passion for midwifery that I know means she has much more yet to contribute.”