A midwife at North Middlesex University Hospital has scooped the Health Equalities Award at this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards for her work to support vulnerable women in north London.
Chantel Palmer, North Mid’s named midwife for safeguarding, picked up the prize for the significant role she played in setting up a Drug and Alcohol Clinic in 2015, which helps women who suffer from substance abuse get tailored support early on in their pregnancy. She was nominated by Kate Osamor MP for Edmonton.
With parental involvement in substance or alcohol misuse in 30% of cases reviewed by Haringey Council, and over 3,600 people in Enfield classed has having an alcohol dependency, this clinic was set up specifically to meet an important need in the local community.
Chantel and the rest of the safeguarding team at North Mid have helped 94 pregnant mothers in the last financial year and more than 300 since the clinic opened. But it’s not only about numbers – it’s also about being able to offer women the help they need much earlier in their pregnancy. Prior to the introduction of the service, women would access our service in the third trimester of their pregnancy. Now the team provides women support as early as 11 weeks into pregnancy, which means they get help sooner, supporting them to have a healthier pregnancy, which is better for mother and baby.
Chantel Palmer said: “I’m really pleased to have won this award. The team and I are always striving to help women who suffer from substance abuse get the support they need so that their babies get the best start in life and I’m glad that the clinic we set up is having an impact.”
Maria Kane, Chief Executive of North Middlesex University Hospital, said: “I’m thrilled that Chantel has won this award and been recognised nationally for her fantastic contribution to the local community. It’s a testament to the commitment, compassion and care that she and the whole maternity team provide women in north London.”
Kate Osamor, Member of Parliament for Edmonton, said: I am delighted that Chantel has won this award and has been recognised in Parliament for her service to women in north London.
Those of us that have gone through pregnancy can testify to the incredible work done by midwives and healthcare professionals in that journey.
Our NHS is an invaluable institution and it is kept running by wonderful professionals such as Chantel and the maternity team at North Mid Hospital.”
Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “It has once again been a privilege to celebrate with some of the extraordinarily dedicated and selfless health and care heroes who make the NHS what it is today - the much-loved institution that our patients say is what makes them most proud to be British.
“From those who have devoted their lives to helping people and supporting some of our most vulnerable, to delivering pioneering lifesaving treatments, the NHS Parliamentary awards are rightly honouring those who continue to make a huge contribution to our country, through our NHS Long Term Plan.”