Elizabeth Leeming is this year’s Pure Foundation Fund UK winner, awarded a £10,000 bursary to advance the care of expectant and new parents and their babies.

Having worked for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust for over 10 years, Elizabeth Leeming was nominated by her colleague Rachael Fazakerley for being a ‘dedicated midwife, colleague, and friend who goes above and beyond for everyone she meets’.  Elizabeth has dedicated her time to helping pregnant asylum seekers, who are coming into the city and staying in temporary accommodation. Commenting on her nomination, Rachael said: “Elizabeth has provided outstanding clinical care but on top of that has acted as an advocate for these families.”

Elizabeth said of her win ”I am extremely grateful to Rachael for going to the trouble to submit an entry for me. I hope that by shining a spotlight on Forced Migrant Maternal Health that it will increase funding and service development for this vulnerable group of mothers, here in the Northeast.

Elizabeth will be donating her prize money to help fund the important work that is helping to break down some of the barriers in maternity care, by her hospital, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust Maternity Department.

WaterWipes® encouraged parents and healthcare professionals to nominate individuals who played crucial roles in pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care and made a difference in the lives of parents and babies. WaterWipes® received over 360 nominations for this year’s Pure Foundation Fund across the UK and Ireland. The UK winner was selected by a panel including both WaterWipes® and neo-natal charity partner, Bliss.

Ailbhe O’Briain, HCP Marketing Manager UK & Ireland at WaterWipes® commented “Reading this year’s inspirational nominations reminds us all why we are all so passionate about supporting maternal, neonatal and postnatal healthcare professionals in the UK and Ireland with the Pure Foundation Fund. We have been so touched by the incredible stories of these individuals who go above and beyond to provide excellent care for parents and their babies. They truly are our ‘’Great Protectors’ and we are delighted to support the further improvement of care with the award of this year’s bursary funds.”

Alongside the overall UK winner Elizabeth Leeming, WaterWipes® and Bliss also recognised four runners-up for their amazing work and achievements.

Róisín McKeon-Carter, a nurse consultant at University Hospital Plymouth, who started her neonatal nurse journey more than 25 years ago, was nominated for being ‘instrumental in not only the development of neonatal services locally but nationally too’. 

Neonatal professional Rupa Banerjee, from Princess Anne Hospital Southampton, was nominated by one of her patients for ‘her compassion, knowledge and kindness’ that helped not just the patient’s baby but ‘countless other babies’.

Midwife Sundas Khalid received a heart-warming nomination from her own sister, who praised her fantastic work as a midwife but also how she ‘represents and directs an organisation that stands for equality in midwifery for women and professionals of ethnic minorities’. 

Commenting on this year’s Pure Foundation Fund, Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive at Bliss and a member of the judging panel, said ‘It was an honour to assist with the judging for this year’s PFF awards: the standard across all nominees was exceptionally high, demonstrating how much excellent practice there is in maternity and neonatal care across the UK. However, Elizabeth Leeming’s nomination stood out for her phenomenal work with asylum seekers, and her combination of excellent clinical care with a personal commitment to go above and beyond to advocate for this community and ensure that her patients are valued. Congratulations to Elizabeth for winning this year’s award, to the other shortlisted nominees, and indeed to all other nominees for their continued commitment to outstanding patient-centred care.”

For more information about this year’s winner and the WaterWipes® Pure Foundation Fund, please visit www.waterwipes.com/uk/en/community/pure-foundation-fund-2022.

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