Family thanks Basildon Hospital midwives for support and care during a long lockdown labour

Phil and Rebecca Townsend
Phil and Rebecca Townsend

A WICKFORD family has thanked midwives at Basildon Hospital after the safe arrival of their baby on the first day of lockdown following a long, challenging labour.

The big ‘thank you’ from Phil and Rebecca Townsend came shortly before the Trust joined other NHS and healthcare organisations around the world in celebrating International Day of the Midwife, on 5 May.

Joshua James Townsend was born on 23 March – the day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict lockdown rules to lessen the impact of COVID-19. Joshua arrived some six days after his mum was admitted to Basildon Hospital for an induced labour.

Phil said: “We were seen by several midwives throughout our time in hospital. It was challenging times with the whole country under pressure and facing uncertainty but those midwives did the NHS proud and stayed professional throughout.”

He particularly thanked one midwife, Ilaria Di Pierro, who cared for the couple during the final hours before Joshua’s arrival.

“She was unbelievable the way she supported my wife through some challenging obstacles that we were not prepared for. Ilaria kept us at ease with her compassion, personality and the knowledge she shared with us. What seemed like a really scary time became easy for Rebecca because of Ilaria’s passion for the job.”

Diane Sarkar, chief nursing officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Phil and Rebecca’s thanks have been echoed by many other families of ‘lockdown babies across our hospitals.

“This year is the international year of the nurse and midwife. It’s vital that we recognise the care and dedication of our midwives and other maternity staff across our hospitals, not only during the current crisis but all year round.”

Trust midwives and their clinical colleagues have been grateful for the support and gratitude they have received from patients, families and the community over recent weeks – including on social media and through donations to the hospitals’ charity.

Diane continued: “That support has really helped to raise staff morale during these challenging times.”

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