Pictured above at the presentation are Chief Nurse Marie Crofts, Oxfordshire peer support Coordinator Will Gibson, Oxon Perinatal Team Manager Caren Duley, Perinatal Peer Support Worker Margaret Louch and Chief Executive Grant Macdonald.
Margaret is a valued member of the Oxfordshire Specialist Perinatal Team who provide assessment and treatment to women with complex and severe mental health problems during and after pregnancy. It is common for women’s mental health and wellbeing to be affected during this time and this service help to support new mothers when they need it most, aiming to improve access to treatment and better outcomes for women and their families.
Margaret has lived experience of mental ill health and she shares this with the parents that she works with. This enables them to feel truly listened to, so they feel safe when sharing their stories with her. She ensures they can be open and honest with her and still maintain their dignity, while developing very trusting relationships with parents.
Her exceptional patient/service user care significantly contributes to the success of the team and most importantly the wellbeing of the parents.
She is considered by colleagues to be an excellent role model, who always works to the best of her ability, regularly supporting other peer support workers who are training and gives talks about peer support, to promote the amazing work done by the team and demonstrates outstanding innovation.
Margaret’s award highlights how truly valuable lived experience can be when providing care through building trust and understanding – we are really grateful to Margaret for sharing this.
The person who nominated Margaret asked to remain anonymous, they said:
“Margaret has made a huge difference to so many of our parents including mums, dads and babies by being there for the family, listening to them and offering sound advice and support while they are going through what is often the most difficult times. Her lived experience gives her a valuable insight into how these families are feeling.
“Margaret continually helps to run the peer support group and through this she has supported women and offered sound advice based on her own experience. She is able to connect with the women through personal understanding, offering hope by demonstrating how she is working with her mental health to offer this support. She is also a keen support on our mental health forum, where again, she can offer that hope.
“Margaret often attends meetings to discuss the progression of the peer support training and the role itself. She has been a peer support worker for four years and is able to offer an insight into what the role entails, where she works hard to establish this role, ensuring that she is keeping up to date with support groups and ongoing training to enhance her role.”
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Published: 15 November 2023