Midwife in line for gong

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A Broome midwife who changed the model for maternity care in the Kimberley has been recognised by her colleagues.

Karen Coyle moved from the Northern Territory in 2012 to implement the Midwifery Group Practice model at Broome Hospital, which offers continuity of care from the same midwife throughout and after pregnancy.

Workers at the hospital nominated Ms Coyle for this year’s WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards, in which she has been short-listed as a finalist in the excellence in rural and remote health and the nurse or midwife of the year categories.

Ms Coyle said she was humbled to be nominated but winning was not on her mind.

“It’s just a privilege to be nominated,” she said.

“Being a midwife is a very rewarding job and these awards raise the profile of the profession, which is what I like about it.

“I’m not usually someone that likes the limelight but to get professional acknowledgement from my colleagues after many years of trying to improve services is really lovely.

“I don’t expect to be recognised in this way — that’s not why I do what I do, so I believe every finalist is a winner anyway.” Ms Coyle said the MGP model was beneficial for pregnant women as it offered them comfort during an intense time but it also made the midwife’s role easier.

“You get to really know the women,” she said.

“By understanding what they’re anxious about and what issues they have, you can really work around their concerns to make the entire process as comfortable as possible.”

WA Country Health Service Kimberley regional director Bec Smith praised Ms Coyle for ensuring the success of the MGP.

“The service would not look the same as it does today without the hard groundwork that Karen has done,” Ms Smith said. “The statistics show significant improvements in outcomes, as well as improved satisfaction from mothers in the Kimberley, particularly Aboriginal mothers.”

The winners of the Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Perth this Saturday.

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