Alex Penfold on Youth Mental Health Day 2023: Insights from a Mental Health Nurse and...
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BSc (Hons) Midwifery, MSc Health Studies
Experienced in all aspects of midwifery & newborn care in community & hospital settings.
I am an enthusiastic and experienced midwife, educator and maternity investigator. I qualified as a midwife in 2012 and have provided antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and newborn care in all areas of midwifery practice. I have spent time working in the community, antenatal clinic and day unit, antenatal and postnatal wards, labour ward and transitional care. I completed a Master of Science in health studies in 2017, which incorporated modules in examination of the newborn, mentorship and advanced clinical practice. In 2017 I became a specialist midwife and my role consisted of all aspects of governance, audit and education. During this time I led an education programme and taught skills to midwifery clinicians, which included newborn resuscitation and perineal suturing. In 2018 I completed additional training to become a professional midwifery advocate and commenced a part time PhD. I provide guest lecturer sessions at local universities as a part of their midwifery education programme.
Since 2019 I have been employed as a maternity investigator for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (soon to be rebranded as the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations, an organisation hosted by the Care Quality Commission). My role includes conducting independent investigations into maternity incidents which have resulted in significant harm or loss of life, through examination and analysis of medical records and interviewing of key participants to provide written safety reports. I am confident in my knowledge of national standards for provision of midwifery care throughout the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods, caring for low and high risk mothers, interpretation of cardiotocographs, recognition, escalation and management of emergency situations and initial newborn resuscitation. I have a high regard for evidence-based practice and use my critiquing skills to ensure any suggested change is robust and considered. I consider my communication and report writing skills to be one of my strongest assets, enhanced by my academic studies and skills in analysing and presenting qualitative and quantitative data to a wide audience in a clear and concise manner. I have presented findings to a number of stakeholders and I am confident in speaking professionally to large groups.
I continue to work clinically as a midwife; primarily on labour ward, to ensure I maintain both my clinical skills and an awareness of the current midwifery landscape. I am passionate about ensuring a high quality, inclusive and safe clinical environment for families accessing maternity care.
I accept instructions from both claimant and defendant solicitors and insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.