Acting up as the labour ward matron

02 November 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 11


As an experienced labour ward coordinator, Sophie Windsor has faced a variety of new challenges since stepping up to cover the role of labour ward matron.

For the past month, I have been acting up as the labour ward matron, while the current matron is on a secondment. As an experienced labour ward coordinator, I am used to the increasingly heavy demands that the day-to-day running of a busy London obstetric-led unit entails.

I had initially thought that my main challenges would be line-managing my peers, conflict resolution and making sure the rota meets the demands of the unit and the needs of the staff. During the last month, I have managed and dealt with all of the situations I had initial concerns about. While I have had to have difficult discussions with staff, typically around sickness reviews, as it turned out these have not been my biggest challenges.

During my first month in post, we had the highest number of births for 1 month that we have ever had (I should have realised the significance of starting a new post in September), along with a Care Quality Commission visit—this was a baptism of fire! As a coordinator, I am used to prioritising workload, assessing capacity issues and mobilising staff to areas of high acuity. When the workload gets unmanageable I call the labour ward matron. Now, I am that person who the labour ward coordinator calls.

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