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Laura wins Highland Hero award 

13/11/2017   |  North & West Highland; South & Mid Highland; Raigmore 

A Caithness midwife has been named a Highland Hero at a ceremony in Inverness.

Laura Menzies was named as this year’s Healthcare Professional of the Year last week at the first- ever Highland Heroes award ceremony organised by the Scottish Provincial Press (SPP).

Laura was one of 12 Highland Heroes in different categories recognised by the SPP at the Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness on Thursday 9th November 2017.

SPP are the publishers of The Inverness Courier, Strathspey & Badenoch Herald, Ross-shire Journal, The Northern Times and John O'Groat Journal.

Laura’s award, sponsored by Invergordon-based event management firm Planit Scotland, was for “an individual with the healthcare sector who has provided a service above and beyond the call of duty, improving of making an impact on the quality of life of another”.

Laura is the midwifery team leader at the Henderson Maternity Unit at NHS Highland’s Caithness General Hospital.

For the past year or so, she has been helping her team and patients to transition from a consultant-led service to midwife-led community unit.

In nominating her for the award, 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 woman 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, however she is so deserving of this award.”

Pam Garbe, Caithness’s rural general hospital manager, said: “This is fantastic news. I am delighted for Laura and the team.”

Further information

Mark Scruton 
Communication manager 
01463 704876