Waheeda Abbas, Midwifery Lead with the NHS North West Genomic Medicine Service Alliance and Specialist Liaison Cultural Midwife at Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has been presented with the national Chief Midwifery Award, by Kate Brintworth, Chief Midwifery Officer for England.WA_image 7.jpg

The Chief Midwifery Award is one of the highest accolades for NHS staff to receive. It is awarded to healthcare staff for going beyond the expectations of their everyday role, demonstrating excellence in clinical practice, education, research, leadership and focusing on diversity and health inequalities. 

Waheeda was presented with the award earlier today, at Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, in front of colleagues from across the region. 

Huge congratulations Waheeda! 

Waheeda commenced in post as the lead nurse for the genomic medicine service alliance 12 months ago and since then she has progressed immeasurably.

Her ability to engage midwives as to the important usage of genomics for the benefit of the patient, and wider family has been stratospheric. Her remit has been to educate the current midwifery workforce across the North West about the usage and benefits of genomics in current medicine. In particular the BAME communities and the wider underserved communities across the region. Prior to Waheeda commencing in post the use of genomics was not at the forefront of feto-maternal midwives nor the general midwifery community.

Waheeda has generated a large midwifery network across the Northwest who are engaged and now empowered to share the value of genomics across their wider workforce communities.

As recognition of her ability, she has been invited to attend a meeting to discuss national matters e.g.” Newborn screening Education &Training graining group” where they will discuss the upcoming clinical trial to use whole genome sequencing on the 6 day heel prick in four Trusts/ midwifery departments,  organised by the national genomic leaders from Health Education England, and Genomics England. She regularly presents on genomics and midwifery across the region outside her regular working day to ensure her message is received.

Waheeda is currently part time with the North West Genomic Medicine Service Alliance,  whilst she holds a clinical role with Bolton Hospitals FT where she is also making a difference as she’s actively engaged the midwifery leaders to share her genomic passion and has encouraged her to push genomics from a ground level to ensure all the workforce are trained in Genomics.

She regularly presents at outside academic institutions, and this is piece of feedback that came to the course tutor from a student who attended her presentation:

“Can you please let Waheeda know how absolutely amazing and inspiring she is. At the beginning she was giving us all an insight into her life and how she got into her role now and honestly her passion and drive just shines. I was hooked on her every word. What a beautiful woman she is and what amazing things she is doing for not only people now but generations to come 🥰 I’m certain the group as a whole felt this too.”