Apprenticeship to offer 'new route' into midwifery in North Cumbria

Sherrelle Smith knew she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a midwife.
Sherrelle Smith knew she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a midwife. Credit: NCIC

A Cumbrian health trust is marking International Day of the Midwife by trying to encourage more people into the profession.

A pioneering midwifery apprenticeship is set to launch at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust in September 2022.

Health bosses say the scheme is the first of its kind in the trust. The apprenticeship is just part of the NCIC's investment in Midwifery, with plans to also recruit overseas.

Midwifery Matron Janet Riley said: "We're thrilled to be able to offer apprenticeships for the first time, this is a great way to get into midwifery, learning practical skills alongside your academic studies.

"It opens the door for people who are looking for a different route into the role. We have also expanded the number of student midwife placements we offer to make sure we maximise the number of midwives qualifying in our region. It is an excellent career choice and very rewarding. I can't imagine doing anything else."

The theme for this year's Day of the Midwife is '100 Years of progress'.

NCIC is taking the opportunity to reflect on progress in midwifery and to look ahead to future plans.

Christine Longcake became a midwife at the age of 44. Credit: NCIC

Christine Longcake followed her dream and became a midwife at the age of 44. She has recently retired from NCIC, aged 59.

She said: "Midwifery to me is about being 'with women' in all aspects. My own personal experiences of pregnancy and childbirth varied with each child and I was left with a feeling that if I ever I had the privilege of becoming a midwife; as cliché as this may sound, I would want to make a difference to the women I cared for.

The Trust is also using the day to thank all the midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives who help to care for women, babies and families across Cumbria.

Amanda Kennett Associate Director of Midwifery at NCIC said:

"I'm extremely proud of our maternity teams here at NCIC, they are resilient, compassionate and extremely hard working.  No one ever forgets their midwife and the difference they made. I want to thank all of our maternity teams, you are incredible today and every day!"