While fully immersed in her day-to-day role as a midwife, Kate Nicoll is also working hard behind the scenes in quality improvement.
As Lead Maternity Carer representative for the South Island Well Child Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement steering group, Kate says her passion is about ensuring equitable services for expectant mothers and whānau across the South Island, as well as supporting the midwifery workforce. “By providing higher quality processes and implementing small changes throughout the system, we can make a difference on both levels. And as a midwife, I’m able to offer the group – as well as other services we work alongside – a unique perspective and insight into our role, our processes, and the challenges we’re facing.”
Kate has worked as a community midwife based in eastern Christchurch for the past 15 years, with a focus on working with youth, Pasifika and Māori. No stranger to quality improvement, she holds several representative roles for the Canterbury and West Coast region of the NZ College of Midwives, including the Te Hà-Waitaha Steering group, Canterbury DHB Teen Parent Strategy group, Canterbury DHB Maternity Strategy Group, and Canterbury WCTO network.
Kate is also a southern region member of the Maternity Morbidity review committee, a NZ College of Midwives standards reviewer, and a member of the clinical reference group for the Midwifery and Maternity Providers Organisation. “Being a part of these groups really fruits my interest and passion for my job – it’s so much more than birthing a baby – midwives have a unique insight and a wealth of knowledge on a range of issues. And all of these roles, ultimately, are about quality improvement to make services work better for providers and produce better outcomes for whānau.”
Born and raised in Christchurch, Kate has five children, four step children and two grandchildren. “We have a very busy household, with 10 of us living together. I am so lucky to have my partner, step children and youngest two, who are all fluent Te Reo Māori speakers.”Kate joined the WCTO QI steering group a year ago after she was nominated by the chairperson. “I really enjoy the professional relationships our work builds across the South Island. Using the South Island Alliance framework is a strong place to work from, pulling all the elements together to make implementing change across the region much more manageable.”