Oxford maternity support worker wins national award for bereavement care 

A maternity support worker (MSW) from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has won a national award for her work supporting bereaved parents. Candice Noonan received the WaterWipes Midwives Maternity Support Worker of the Year award at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) from presenter and musician Mylene Klass at the RCM annual awards on 27 October.

After receiving her award, Candice said “I am so honoured to be recognised in this way, and a huge congratulations to all the nominees – what an achievement for us all. I never realised how at one you could be with a job, until now. I don’t think there are any words to explain how it feels to win such a prestigious award, for just doing what you truly love.

“I’d like to thank everyone who believes in me and of course the RCM. I want to dedicate this award to all the families I have met throughout my journey so far.”

RCM Awards Maternity Support Worker of the Year Candice Noonan Oxford Trust
Winner Candice Noonan with presenter Mylene Klass

Candice works in the maternity service bereavement team at the trust as a specialist bereavement MSW. Nominating her for these awards colleagues praised her for making a difference in these women’s lives at such a devastating time and for going above and beyond to meet their needs, and also for the efforts she makes to support other staff.

RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton said: “What really shines through with Candice is how much she really cares for the women, their partners and families. She is supporting them through an incredibly difficult period and her efforts and willingness to go that extra mile are making that process better. She also works to keep driving changes and improvements to make the service even better. Nothing can take away the pain of losing a baby, but people like Candice can and do help to make that grieving process a little easier. She is a truly outstanding MSW and richly deserves this award and the praise being heaped upon her.”

Candice has worked hard to make bereavement care even better at the trust. She established close links with various charities and works with them to improve care and the resources available for women and their partners. She also supports the team with audits and statistics which are helping to improve services. Her role also extends after the parents leave the unit, through the trust’s Rainbow Clinic which supports parents after discharge. Her colleagues say parents really value seeing her friendly face again and have appreciated the continuity she provides for them.