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6 August

Student midwives return makes a positive difference

l-r Michaella and Bethany next to an Active Birth Bed.
l-r Michaella and Bethany next to an Active Birth Bed.

The return of student midwives to the maternity unit at Basildon Hospital during lockdown has proved a huge boost to women and staff during this daunting time, and also means the students are able to complete their studies. 

Like many university students, Bethany Chipperfield and Michaella Smith’s course came to an abrupt halt as coronavirus hit, but soon the second year Anglia Ruskin University student midwives were back in action.

After completing a risk assessment the pair were more than happy to return to their maternity placement at Basildon Hospital in June, meaning that they, along with others, were able to complete the second year of their degree.

With third year students also coming back and completing their studies, maternity has been able to continue its recruitment drive, with 18 newly qualified midwives expected to start their new roles at Basildon in September – great news for staff and expectant mums.

Bethany, who lives near Chelmsford, said: “I like to be out doing things in practice so coming back really helped keep me motivated. For me it was a lot better than just studying at home online and has given us all a real confidence boost. We’ve been made to feel really welcome coming back.”

With visiting restricted because of COVID-19, student midwives had the opportunity to help fill that gap and really bond with patients, especially on post natal wards.

Michaella, from Basildon, felt they had helped make a real difference to both staff and women. She said: “At first we were nervous but it’s really satisfying to know we have done our bit to help people at this crucial time. Midwives have appreciated the support and extra pair of hands, and I hope we’ve helped bring a bit of normality back for women and their families too.”