A community midwife from Kettering General Hospital was shortlisted for a national NHS hero award for the support she provided for a family.
Serena Smith, 38, from Wellingborough, was nominated in the Best Midwife category of The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Award.
The award was launched in July to recognise the work done day-to-day by NHS staff across the country in the service’s 70th anniversary year.
Serena was nominated for the outstanding care she delivered to a local mum, Kelly Taylor, and her new born son, Jasper, two years ago.
She was shortlisted down to the national top three for the award – in a category which had thousands of entries.
Mum Kelly, 36, from Wellingborough, said: “Right from our first appointment I knew that I was confident, comfortable and relaxed with Serena as my community midwife.
“That was so important because I was a first time mum and I needed quite a bit of reassurance.
“She was very open and honest and obviously knew her stuff.
“She enabled me to choose where I gave birth and when I had a concern close to Jasper’s birth she arranged for an additional scan and I was reassured.
“After his birth I also had some questions and she was always there for me – and even came to see me in her own time.
“On one occasion I was having a breakdown over breastfeeding my son, and if she hadn’t come over - off duty and after she had discharged me - then I don’t know what would have happened that day.
“It was scary.
“She took the time to check up on me in the following days too.
“She really did demonstrate a commitment and dedication over an extended period of time and I know she does it for a whole load of her ladies too.
“She was a tremendous support to me and my family.
“She just went so far above and beyond what you would have expected of a community midwife.”
Serena, herself a mother-of-three, went into midwifery later than most qualifying four years ago and working as a community midwife at KGH for the past three years.
She said: “I had worked in many different jobs while raising my three children Kaci, 18, Alysha, 17, and Landen, 10, with my husband Anthony.
“But I had always wanted to be a midwife and I thought ‘life’s too short’ - so I started again as a student with the University of Bedford and did my training at Luton and Dunstable.
“It just clicked for me.
“To me it is almost not like work.
“I go out and see my patients and have a good chat and help steer them through a very special moment in their life.
“I knew I was quite an empathetic person and I thought ‘the rest I can learn’ - and I have.”
Community midwives are assigned to support mums-to-be and their families throughout pregnancy and for up to 28 days afterwards.
Serena said: “I think Kelly nominated me because I went a bit above and beyond the normal care.
“We spoke whenever she needed to and I was able to support her quite closely until she had established breast feeding.”
Kettering General Hospital’s lead midwife, Polly Leigh, said: “We are thrilled that Serena was nominated for the Who Care Wins Awards and even more delighted that she made it through to the last three in her category.
“Serena is a very committed and caring individual who works as a valued member of the community team.
“She is a credit to the profession and demonstrates all of the Trust’s CARE values of being compassionate, accountable, respectful and engaging.”