Collie midwife recognised for excellence, passion

South Western Times

A Collie midwife whose passion for the profession has prompted the implementation of a training program aimed to recruit quality midwives in rural areas, has been recognised for her work.

Collie midwife Sylvia Miles is one of 33 Western Australia finalists in the 2017 Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards and one of four shortlisted in the Excellence in Midwifery category.

Ms Miles said like many rural midwives, she felt strongly about quality and safe midwifery care so rural women could give birth in their own community.

“My passion has given me a focus on providing continuity for rural midwifery practice by reviewing and hopefully implementing a model that will sustain rural practice into the future,” she said.

“I have continued to negotiate, encourage, mentor and support local rural nurses to become midwives over the last 10 years.

She said this was made possible by the commitment from the students themselves, the support from the local community, Collie Health Service Management and later by WACHS South-West Student Midwifery Program.

“I feel honoured that the next home grown midwives of this community will continue this ethos to provide a newer sustainable model of care, allowing rural women to birth close to their homes.

“My eyes and heart light up when another baby is born safe within the walls of our low risk unit.”

WA Country Health Service acting district manager Wellington Lucy Murphy nominated Ms Miles describing her as “a passionate midwife with an understanding of the issues around recruiting qualified midwives in rural areas”.

She said Ms Miles developed a business case to train midwives in Collie in collaboration with the Regional Resource Centre in Bunbury and was the reason midwifery training got underway in Collie, with Sylvia as a mentor and teacher in 2009.

“The success of the program is evident by the retention of newly trained midwives that continue to work in Collie,” Ms Murphy said.

Winners, including 2017 WA Nurse or Midwife of the Year and the recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Honour, will be announced at a gala dinner on Saturday.

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