Specialist mental health midwife named 'Rising Star' at Nursing Times Awards

A midwife from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has been crowned ‘Rising Star’ at the Nursing Times Awards 2016. 

Dionne Levy is a specialist mental health midwife at St Mary’s and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea hospitals. She is responsible for making sure pregnant women with mental health problems receive the right care at this crucial time.

Dionne was nominated by colleagues for her commitment to improving the care of pregnant women and new mums with mental health problems, helping to give their children the best start in life. 

Dionne is particularly skilled at building relationships with women who can find it difficult to confide in professionals because of their condition or previous experiences of care. She consistently receives excellent feedback from the women she sees who feel they have been heard and understood. 

Dionne will often work outside her shift to support woman during labour and go the extra mile to ensure they get the right antenatal support. She also attends social care meetings, the mother and baby unit, and perinatal mental health team meetings to ensure women receive the right levels of integrated care.

Dionne said about winning the award: 

“I was completely shocked and excited about winning. It is nice to be recognised for doing a job that I care so passionately about and enjoy doing. 

“I believe that mental health is just as important as physical health in pregnancy and childbirth. The women I support need a little more help to manage their pregnancy. It is a pleasure to be able to assist these women at such a crucial time in their lives and to help them and their newborn to get the best possible start in life.”

Dionne was presented with her award at a ceremony held on 26 October at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Earlier in the day Dionne also met The Prince of Wales alongside the Trust’s three other Nursing Times Awards nominees, during a visit to St Mary’s Hospital.

Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing at the Trust said:

“I am exceptionally proud that Dionne has been recognised in this way. 

“Dionne consistently goes above and beyond to make sure her new mums and mums-to-be get the very best care. She is a real champion for these women, leading by example to reduce stigma and make sure that physical and mental health care are considered equally. 

“Congratulations and very well done, Dionne.”

Dr Sarah Taha, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist who nominated Dionne, said:

“It is fantastic news that Dionne’s hard work, drive and passion has been celebrated by her winning the Rising Star category in the Nursing Times Awards. 

“She has been made a significant difference to the care of women with mental health difficulties in pregnancy at the Trust and reached out to some very vulnerable woman, ensuring they are supported and have the best possible experience. 

“Her work highlights the importance bringing together physical and mental health care when caring for women at this crucial time in their lives.”

Notes to editors
1. The annual Nursing Times Awards are a celebration of excellence in nursing and patient care. They recognise the innovations that are shaping and improving nurse-led care in the NHS.