Tendai Nzirawa is one of small number of new Fellows elected by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) this year. She received her award at the RCN Congress this week in Glasgow in recognition of her innovative contribution to the field of maternity care and her commitment to addressing the inequalities experienced by the most deprived and vulnerable women and birthing people in the East of England.
RCN Fellowships recognise innovative individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to advancing the science and practice of nursing and the improvement of health and patient care and are the highest honour the RCN can bestow on a member.
Tendai joined Health Innovation East in 2021 to lead the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme (MatNeoSIP) on behalf of the Eastern Patient Safety Collaborative. The programme works with all maternity and neonatal providers in our region on a range of key improvement workstreams, aiming to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal death and brain injuries.
Tendai has been a nurse for nearly 18 years across adult, neonatal and paediatric services in community, intensive care, community, A&E and ward settings. She previously delivered a programme of cultural awareness training, collaborated with the East of England Local Government Association to create facilitated workshops and developing sustainable maternity and neonatal care pathways for different groups across the East of England, supporting more than 17 maternity and neonatal services.
She also established a mechanism for progressing the emerging themes brought to light through Covid-19 and anchored this work as part of the regional and system response.
In addition, in her previous role led the NHS Long Term Plan programmes across the region by supporting the Local Maternity & Neonatal systems to offer continues glucose monitoring for all pregnant women with type 1 diabetes and develop their Maternal Mental health Service on an integrated care (ICS) footprint.
Speaking about becoming an RCN Fellow, Tendai said:
“My passion has always been about improving the experience and outcomes of women and birthing people and their babies’ journey when accessing maternity, neonatal and paediatric services. I have had the opportunity to establish and lead various services throughout my nursing career in different health settings, but the best experience has been working with the wonderful professionals and service users needed to make those improvements. I am proud to be a nurse, thankful for those who nominated me and humbled by the recognition of this Fellowship.”
Read Tendai’s blog, in which she explains how listening to underrepresented groups has led to a new report into addressing health inequalities in maternity services.
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