Croydon’s Health Services midwives were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal, Patron of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to the Trust’s maternity unit today (Tuesday 15 September).
Her Royal Highness spent time with midwifery teams, hearing about their experiences of delivering babies during the COVID-19 pandemic in one of London’s hardest hit hospitals.
Indigo Leonard-Chambers, Community Midwifery Matron, who met Her Royal Highness during her visit said:
“Our team made a number of changes to the way we care for women and their babies during COVID-19, both in the hospital and to our popular homebirth service in the community.
“We have continued to do our job whilst reassuring women during their pregnancies and births, to make sure that they feel safe and secure throughout. It was a privilege to speak Her Royal Highness about our positive team spirit and am sure it shone through today.”
Maternity support worker Catherine Cargill, who has recently begun training to become a midwife said of HRH’s visit:
“I felt extremely proud to explain the important role of Maternity Support Workers and the opportunity that I now have to progress my career in maternity at Croydon Health Services.
“Her Royal Highness was genuinely interested in the work we are doing, particularly during the COVID-19 and was extremely knowledgeable about the issues that we have faced during the pandemic.”
Elaine Clancy, Chief Nurse and Executive Director for Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic challenged some of the traditional ways we care for pregnant women and their babies, reducing face to face appointments and limiting visitors to hospitals. Despite this, our commitment to our community in Croydon has been unwavering.
“We replaced face to face appointments with telephone and video consultations, to ensure we could still be there for all of our expectant mums and launched a dedicated helpline, staffed by highly trained midwives who provided advice and reassurance to those who had questions about COVID-19 and their pregnancy.
“I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of our maternity staff for their continued dedication to providing the best possible care in hospital, in our community clinics and to women in their own homes.”
As part of her visit, The Princess Royal met staff from all areas of the borough’s maternity service, including those who work in the labour ward, in community midwifery and home birth services and those working in the Lucina Birth Centre. Her Royal Highness also met a number of student midwives, who have chosen to start their careers in Croydon.
The Princess Royal then unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit.
Commenting, RCM CEO, Gill Walton said:
“This visit was a great opportunity for the Princess Royal, as the RCM’s patron, to hear first-hand from midwives and maternity support workers at Croydon about their work to ensure women and their babies are receiving good quality care, despite the current pandemic.
It’s great to see the pride with which the maternity staff talked about their work, particularly the support they’ve been able to give the women in their care and it has certainly boosted morale across the Croydon maternity team.”