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Maternity team scoops prestigious award

maternity scoops award


One year old Dominick Joseph Griffiths-Smith owes his life to miracle workers at University Hospital of North Durham's maternity unit for the care they gave to him and to his mum after a complex pregnancy and birth.

That's why mum Katherine Smith nominated the team for a MUM (Maternity Unit Miracles) award.

Katherine from Brandon in County Durham said: "On 19th April 2011, I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first baby, after a pregnancy with a number of complications, we had found out that my son was going to be born with a condition called gastroschisis (the bowels are outside of the body rather than inside).

"On the day my son was born, a friendly looking Midwife and shy student Midwife greeted me.

"For three hours I was monitored on various machines and observed by many different doctors and quite understandably I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable and not sure what to expect. The midwife made me feel very comfortable, encouraging me to ask for anything and explaining everything that was going on, why they were doing it and what things meant.

"Very suddenly I was told that I was going into theatre to have a C-section and would be given an epidural; as I despise needles I started to cry and panic. The Student Midwife held my hand and reassured me about the epidural explaining what was going to happen and what effect it would have on me. The room was filling up and she continued to explain who everyone was and why they were in there which had the effect of making me feel so much more relaxed.

"The Midwife and student Midwife made an emotional and scary time so much easier for me and I appreciate it so much. My son is now one and there have been further hurdles but I think back to the day he was born and it couldn't have been handled better by the staff."

As a result of this experience on behalf of herself and Dominick Mum, Katherine nominated the deserving team of Obstetricians, Anaesthetists and Midwives for a MUM award to recognise the outstanding work of the team.

Allison Metters, Maternity Matron, University Hospital of North Durham said: "We are absolutely delighted to win this award which is made all the more special because it is patient nominated. We strive to deliver the highest standard of care for all the ladies who come through our unit and to have this recognised nationally is a fantastic achievement for the whole team. It has been wonderful to meet up with Katherine and Dominick a year after his birth and see how well he is doing. We are very grateful to Katherine for taking the time to nominate us."

Dominick and Katherine joined the award winning maternity team for a fun packed lunch together with Cha Cha the resident frog at London's Rainforest Café on 6th November. The maternity team then attended a reception at the House of Lords on 7th November.

'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we have this service at all and well done to you all.'

Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley Bridge Community Hospital