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A Clinical Adviser at NHS Digital who is leading the charge to digitise maternity services has been recognised with a special gold award from England’s Chief Midwifery Officer.
Jules Gudgeon is only the fifth person to have received Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent’s gold award, which recognises her contribution to digital midwifery and improving women’s experiences of maternity care.
Jules said: “I was absolutely overwhelmed to hear I was receiving an award. It was a total shock. The fact that the Chief Midwifery Officer has gone out of her way to recognise my work means such a lot to me.
“My job at NHS Digital is to raise the profile of digital technology across maternity services, so it’s a lovely feeling to think that I must be achieving what I set out to do.”
Jules, who first qualified as a midwife in 1993, was attending a digital midwives’ event in London last week when the surprise announcement was made.
“All I can hear when I visualise the moment is the reaction from everyone in the room,” said Jules. “There was so much cheering and clapping. I had no idea that I had made such an impact on my colleagues. It was a very special moment, but while it’s an award for me, it’s also an award for all of us. It’s great to see digital at the top of the agenda and it’s been a huge collective effort from everyone involved.”
As Clinical Adviser to the Digital Maternity Programme, Jules uses her experiences as a midwife to help support the design of a new generation of digital tools, which will help to improve the working lives of midwives, as well as mums accessing maternity services.
Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England said: “I was delighted to present the Chief Midwifery Officer Gold Award to Julia Gudgeon. Julia was nominated because of her contribution to and midwifery leadership of digital maternity.
“Julia has supported digital innovations and technology that will support the provision of improved care to children affording them the best start in life, whilst supporting the provision of timely healthcare information for mums to be. The use of digital technology to improve maternity care is a key aim in the NHS Long Term Plan, and Julia’s work in this area brings us closer to ensuring that all new mothers receive the benefits.”