Monday 11 June 2012
Around 200 student midwives, lecturers, practitioners from partner trusts and programme commissioners gathered together for the University's Student Midwives’ Conference on 23 May.
Speakers included students and lecturers, as well as the South Central Local Supervising Authority Midwifery Officer, Suzie Cro, and the Head of Research and Information at the National Childbirth Trust, Mary Newburn, who is also an Honorary Professor at the University. This inspiring mix covered a diverse range of topics, from time limits in labour and the importance and power of research to the value of spending time observing midwifery practice in other cultures.
The conference provided an opportunity to showcase some of the considerable talent of our student midwives and celebrate the successes and achievements of the past year, in particular our progress towards UNICEF Baby Friendly Status, the increasing numbers of our students publishing their work in peer reviewed journals, and working with our Trust partners on projects such as introducing a communication tool and setting up a student run buddy scheme. The University’s close links with practice areas were further celebrated through student nominated 'Mentor of the Year' awards, which were presented on the day.
In addition to delivering their excellent presentations without a trace of nerves, students had produced informative and eye-catching poster presentations which were displayed outside the hall.
The conference was introduced by Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Pro Vice-Chancellor, (Academic and Student Services), and devised and coordinated by the Lead Midwife for Education at the University, Jancis Shepherd.
Speaking about the success of the day Jancis commented:
‘We have had an inspiring and moving day. Our speakers have educated us, charmed us, displayed their knowledge and inspired a continuing thirst to push forward midwifery care. Our students are superb, eloquent ambassadors for midwifery and the University of West London. I am delighted for the midwives who were nominated to recieve the midwifery mentor of the year awards, Louise Edwards from Ealing Hospital and Vanessa Hodge from Wexham Park Hospital'.
Two student midwife of the year awards were presented to Sophie Hopkins from NHS London and Sharon Andrews from Berkshire, these were given in recognition of the outstanding contributions made by the students to their midwifery peers and the midwifery programme.
The conference was extremely well evaluated by delegates, who described it as 'phenomenal' and 'inspiring'.