A NHS medical professional stood outside, they are posing for a picture.

Fataneh, an internationally recruited midwife working in Wigan shares what she loves most about her role ahead of International Day of the Midwife (5th May)

Sunday 5th May is the annual International Day of the Midwife. A day where we recognise, celebrate, and show gratitude to midwives all over the world for their service to healthcare.

We have 1,534 midwives working in Greater Manchester, caring for expecting mothers and helping to safely deliver over 34,000 babies a year.

In the last 18 months, 55 of those midwives have been recruited from overseas to work across Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire. Internationally recruited midwives are vital to the safe running of NHS maternity services.

We spoke to midwife, Fataneh, who is the first midwife at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) to be recruited internationally.

Fataneh is originally from Iran and has been a qualified midwife for 10 years.

“I have always had an interest in biology and the more I learnt, the more I became interested in the labour and delivery process. I wanted a job that made a difference and brings people happiness. That’s why I chose to become a midwife.”

Fataneh moved to India in 2017 where she worked as a volunteer midwife at a hospital in Southern India for five years.  It was there a friend told her about the opportunity to apply for a role in the UK with the NHS.

“I have always been someone who wants to travel, explore, and see new things. I applied to be a midwife for the NHS in 2022. I felt excited about the prospect of working the UK, because the reputation of the NHS is known worldwide, although I was nervous about the application process.”

Like all midwives recruited from overseas, Fataneh went through an extensive induction and training period to equip her for practice in the UK. Once in the UK, the midwives must take written and practical exams to allow them to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Fataneh then moved to Wigan to complete a 12-month, personalised programme at WWL. The programme is designed to help midwives translate their knowledge into everyday practice, grow in confidence and understand how to apply national standards of practice and behaviours in their day-to-day roles.

 “Working for the NHS gives me great opportunities to develop my skills in different areas of midwifery. I have loved my time here. The thing I enjoy most is that I get to be part of the most special moment in someone’s life. I love supporting women and families throughout their entire delivery journey.”

The hospital which the midwives are stationed to, also provide support with pastoral care, such as setting up a new bank account, helping to source accommodation, and supporting them to integrate into their new community.

“I received such a warm welcome from my colleagues at WWL when I joined. I was so happy to be joining the NHS, but obviously there was a lot to adjust to with moving to a new country and tackling the language barrier. Everyone has been amazing though and given me lots of support with my studying, in caring for the expecting mothers as well as helping me outside of work to feel more settled in my new home.”

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