Renowned author and comedian Adam Kay recently honoured the year’s most exceptional midwife at Northwick Park Hospital through a virtual presentation. The prestigious Gwen Richardson Award, an annual accolade, recognised the remarkable contributions of Jacqui Martin.
oAs a safeguarding midwife in a maternity unit facilitating thousands of births annually, Martin’s outstanding work set her apart for this esteemed recognition.
Adam, the author of “This is Going to Hurt,” received an invitation from Liz Hopkins, the late Gwen Richardson’s daughter. Liz expressed, “My mum was a local midwife in the 1940s and 50s until she had kids of her own. She loved being a midwife, and the award is both a tribute to her memory and in recognition of the profession.”
Gwen, diagnosed with dementia in her 80s, received care at Northwick Park, where nurses affectionately referred to her as ‘sister’ and allowed her to sit at the nurse’s station. Liz shared, “My mum used to ask the nurses if they could get her a uniform so she could help on the ward. She was forgetful in many ways but, when you asked her to talk about her days as a midwife, her eyes lit up, and she would remember it all clearly.
“It’s tough for any family looking after a loved one with dementia, but those memories were so strong; it was like turning the clock back. It was lovely to see. She used to enjoy watching box sets of ‘Call the Midwife’ because it was set in the era when she was working as one herself.”
Pippa Nightingale, Chief Executive of LNWH and a midwife herself, stated, “Babies keep arriving regardless of midwife shortages, strikes, and sickness, so we have a pretty hardy bunch here who regularly go above and beyond the call of duty. The unit has been through a lot of change in recent years, and I am proud of the way the team has handled that and kept moving forward.”