Chichester midwife named on Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021

A midwife from Chichester it set to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Kelly Pierce-Nergaard, 45, a midwifery matron, has been recognised for her services to the NHS, ‘particularly during Covid-19’.

“I’m really shocked,” Kelly said. “It is really lovely.

“I still don’t know who nominated me.

Kelly Pierce-Nergaard has been recognised for her services to the NHS, ‘particularly during Covid-19’. SUS-211106-153657001

“My team really do go above and beyond. I’m merely the manager.

“At first, I thought it was really cruel spam [email]. It took a few reads until I realised actually this is real.”

Kelly had been based in the Public Health and Education department at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust before her transfer to Solent NHS Trust.

The mum-of-two led an initiative during the pandemic, which involved working with a software firm to develop an electronic portal ‘Family Assist’, with information for families during pregnancy and in early years of life.

She worked with the company to develop a ‘push’ function where information is sent out to families at exactly the time that they need it based on due date to avoid women and families being overwhelmed with too much information.

Covid guidance for women in pregnancy was changing sometimes as frequently as three times per week and Kelly led a team that immediately changed the information on the site and sent it out to the 11,000 women and families registered.

Kelly said: “We set up a digital portal for families in 2017 but it really came into its own in lockdown because families were really worried about Covid. especially pregnant women.

“It’s been challenging for families. It was so difficult in the first lockdown.

“Partners couldn’t attend scans and didn’t know if they could be there for the labour. There was a lot of worry in the community.

“With the portal, we quickly mobilised live chat with a health visitor and a midwife. It was just brilliant.”

Kelly and her team undertook a campaign on social media and with the community midwives and health visitors to increase the numbers of women and families registering on the system.

Kelly said the development ‘really freed up’ frontline staff, who were being ‘bombarded’.

She added: “They were able to get concerns answered really quickly. It was really welcomed by families as they could channel really scary concerns. Staff have hugely appreciated it too.”

Kelly took the lead for public health, focusing on interventions such as smoking cessation in pregnancy and infant feeding.

She is ‘passionate about the impact’ that pregnancy, bonding and early childhood development has on individuals in improving their life chances in adulthood.

Kelly also leads on parent education and mobilised the parent education midwife to produce videos that were immediately put onto the site so that women,

partners and their families, who were now unable to access classes due to social distancing were able to have friendly and informative sessions.

Kelly said her eight-year-old daughter Sofie was particularly excited with the news.

“She wrote a letter to the Queen on her birthday a couple of years ago,” she said.

“She got a reply from a lady in waiting, to say thank you very much for the Queen’s birthday wishes.

“Her expectations of meeting the Queen will be really high now!”