Zoe Fitzsimmons, Delivery Suite Coordinator (Registered Midwife)

Zoe is one of our inspiring NHS Ambassadors. She signed up as part of our campaign with NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England to get more NHS Staff into schools, and talking to young people and children about the interesting roles available with the NHS. Zoe grew up in Gillingham, Kent but now works as a Delivery Suite Coordinator at Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. She is a registered midwife. Outside of work she enjoys cycling, mountain walking, baking and cross stitching. In this short blog post, she shares a bit about her job and why she is passionate about inspiring young people to consider a career in the NHS:

“I coordinate the care of the pregnant women and ensure they receive safe and appropriate care during their childbirth experience. I lead a team of midwives of various level of experience to provide effective and safe care. I prioritise the workload of the delivery unit as a whole. Supporting all members of the team to achieve their daily goals, enhance their learning experience and facing their challenges. We look after woman and their families during their pregnancy and immediate postnatal care. We see women with complex medical needs and babies with various genetic conditions.

I most enjoy that every day at work is different, the woman change on a shift by shift basis so you are always learning and every family has their own unique experience. I love working as part of a cohesive team with the same goal. I least like dealing with bereavement, it’s the hardest part of the job, but if you can listen to the families and make the worst situation a tiny bit brighter it can also be rewarding.

I left school at 18 years old with GCSEs and A Levels (not in subjects that were transferable to Midwifery), I started working for NHS Professionals in their call centre filling empty bank shifts. Maternity shifts were the most difficult to fill and so I looked into why they were so difficult. It became apparent that there weren’t enough midwives being trained, I commenced an Access to Higher Education in Health Care studying 2 nights a week at college whilst continuing to work for NHS Professionals. I then gained a place upon completion at the University of Central Lancashire to study Midwifery. I qualified in 2010 and have worked at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester since.”

What advice would you like to give to young people (who wanted to end up doing a similar job)?

Work hard at your studies, focus on the end goal however hard the road is to the end. Study A Levels in subjects appropriate to Midwifery for example: Biology, Sociology, Psychology. The degree course is full time, 50% clinical (shift work including nights) 50% theory (lectures and home study) so be prepared for the intensity of the course.

Thank you for sharing your story, Zoe.

If you work in the NHS, and like Zoe, would like to inspire the next generation by visiting a local school to talk to young people about your job you can find out more and sign up here.