“Working at ELHT has been the best career choice I could have made. Working alongside great people and many teams, positively influencing health outcomes, really has been the best.”

Sue Henry has worked for the NHS for 37 years. She was the Baby Friendly Lead for the Trust for 20 years and instrumental in helping ELHT become the first Trust in the country to receive the prestigious Baby Friendly Initiative ‘Gold’ standard from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) UK. In 2019 she was presented with the Chief Midwifery Gold Award and a British Empire Medal in 2022 for her services to midwifery and baby friendly care.

She said:

I trained as a staff nurse at Blackburn Royal Infirmary in 1986. I worked on the medical cardiology ward and although I loved my job, I was seeing a lot of poorly patients. I’d always had midwifery in the back of my mind and this was making me think more about health and prevention and how everything happens from birth.

Sue HenryBefore I knew it, the joyous side of midwifery had pulled me in!

My heart had always been in public health and preventative work and when I became a mother myself the importance of breastfeeding really struck a chord with me, so when the opportunity came up to move into the Baby Friendly Team it was perfect.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies, their mothers and families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

At ELHT our team works with public services to ensure that all mothers and babies are supported with feeding and developing a close and loving relationship – whatever their choice of feeding method.

We believe breastfeeding matters for many reasons, and together, future public health depends on more babies receiving more breastmilk. The team works with colleagues across our ELHT service and beyond, and thanks to education, innovation and progression we have seen breastfeeding rates climb – something we are exceptionally proud of. 

I have a great passion about the people of ELHT and feel incredibly proud to be retiring in the NHS’ 75th year.