A CAITHNESS midwife, who has become a Highland Hero, said she is “no more deserving of praise than anyone else in our unit”.
Laura Menzies was one of 12 people named as Highland Heroes at a ceremony held in Inverness.
She was chosen as the Healthcare Professional of the Year at the first Highland Heroes award ceremony organised by Scottish Provincial Press (SPP), publisher of the Caithness Courier and John O’Groat Journal.
Laura’s award was for “an individual with the healthcare sector who has provided a service above and beyond the call of duty, improving or making an impact on the quality of life of another”.
She is the midwifery team leader at Henderson maternity unit at Caithness General Hospital in Wick.
For over a year, she has been helping her team and patients cope with the controversial move of the unit changing from being led by consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists to one run by the midwives.
Laura was praised for going “above and beyond the call of duty, working extra shifts to sustain a service for local women” and for being “extremely flexible and supportive”.
The nominations also stated that “the unit is fairly isolated and faces all the challenges of a remote and rural service. Laura is truly a fantastic role model for her team and the local women of the community”.
Laura, who has worked at Caithness General for 16 years, said: “I couldn’t do this alone. I’m no more deserving of praise than anyone else in our unit.
I have a brilliant, dedicated team of nine midwives, two bank midwives, two midwifery care assistants and three healthcare support workers striving to provide the best possible service for the women and families of our community.
“Everyone has been through a tough time, not only the midwives, but the whole community, in both providing and receiving maternity care.”
Mary Burnside, lead midwife for NHS Highland’s north and west operational unit, said: “Laura is always working quietly away in the background giving 100 per cent at all times to support the local midwifery and hospital team.
“She has forged strong working relationships with local Scottish Ambulance Service and the Raigmore maternity team and sets a fantastic example with regard to collaborative working.
“She has a very calm and determined nature which has kept the local service and team on firm ground throughout a period of major service redesign.
“Laura will most definitely want to avoid the limelight but she is so deserving of this award.”.