14 February 2017
A Trust midwife has been named as Midwife of the Year 2017 for the North of England for being a mum’s ‘rock’ during and after pregnancy.
Linda Gibbs, who is based at Crewe’s Hungerford Road Medical Centre, won the title after being nominated by local mum Jennifer Stevenson.
The prestigious award is sponsored by support and advice website Emma’s Diary and is part of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, which recognises the remarkable work done by inspiring midwives across the country.
Linda came into Jennifer’s life when she needed her most. She provided a tailor-made plan and was instrumental in Jennifer receiving her Asperger’s diagnosis, which enabled her to gain the confidence to grow as a mum.
Jennifer, from Crewe, said: “From the very beginning Linda has been there for me – her big, friendly smile putting me at east every time we met, sharing her knowledge to help comfort and encourage me.
“Due to slow growth, the baby had to be induced at 38 weeks and Linda stepped in to be my rock, explaining everything so I felt in control and knew what to expect. She took the time to provide a one-to-one visit to the maternity unit in preparation for labour. For someone suffering with Asperger’s this made the experience more bearable.
“She was also there towards the end of my delivery giving me the final encouragement to push Olivia into the world.”
More than 740 nominations were received for the Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award. These were then put through a rigorous judging process by a panel of representatives from both the RCM and Emma’s Diary, resulting in seven regional winners.
Linda will now attend an awards ceremony in London in March to collect her trophy and find out if she will be announced as the overall national winner.
She said: “I was absolutely speechless when I found out I’d won this award. Jennifer had already made me a fantastic cake and said such lovely words but this was totally out the blue. My colleagues laughed at my reaction as I’m rarely left speechless!
“It's such an honour as I feel like I’m just doing my job, but knowing I have made a difference means everything to me.”
Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the RCM, remarked: “What is so important about winning this award is that it comes from the mothers that midwives have cared for. There is no better indication of the quality of care than that of the mother, so Linda should be hugely proud of this achievement.
“Linda has gone above and beyond to deliver high quality, woman centred care and I congratulate her for her commitment, dedication and for caring so much about the care she gives.
“All of us can learn from midwives like Linda. She is a shining example to me, and I hope for other midwives who will be inspired by her example.”
Jennifer added: “Linda’s not just been my midwife but also my friend, helping me to grow as a person. Without her support, I really don’t think I would have the bond that I have with Olivia now.”