Whalley midwife receives lifetime achievement award

Sheena Byrom - winner of a lifetime achievement award
Sheena Byrom - winner of a lifetime achievement award

A PIONEERING midwife, whose vision shaped the recent changes in maternity services across East Lancashire, has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her services.

Sheena Byrom, of Whalley, who took early retirement in December after 35 years as a midwife to study for a PhD in normal childbirth with the University of Nottingham, was recognised by the East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust’s STAR (Staff Thank You And Recognition) award ceremony.

Sheena started as a student nurse in Blackburn in 1974 and as soon as she completed her nursing qualifications in 1977, she began training to be a midwife in Burnley.

She progressed from midwife to team leader to consultant midwife to head of midwifery, and published a number of academic texts on natural childbirth before playing a key role in designing East Lancashire’s new maternity services.

She has been an inspirational leader to staff throughout the Family Care Division and supported hundreds of mothers through birth.

Infant feeding co-ordinator Sue Henry, who nominated Sheena, said: “Sheena affects people: she makes people want to be better people, sees the good and possibilities in others and gives them confidence. Sheena has always enhanced the reputation of the Trust, representing us nationally and internationally at conferences. East Lancashire is well and truly on the map because of her.”

Speaking about the awards, Mark Brearley, the Trust’s new chief executive, added: “I’m thrilled to be at an event like the STAR awards on my first day here, listening to so many stories of people who go above and beyond day after day to make a real difference to patients.

“Congratulations to everyone who was nominated – they are all a great credit to the Trust and I am very pleased to be joining this organisation as chief executive.”