University delivers top award to midwife

Jessica Cutler won a Chancellor's Award after achieving the highest mark on the midwifery course at the University of Huddersfield
Jessica Cutler won a Chancellor's Award after achieving the highest mark on the midwifery course at the University of Huddersfield

A medical student who swapped the West End stage for a different type of theatre has graduated top of her class.

Jessica Cutler, of Todmorden, received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award after achieving the top marks on her midwifery course at the University of Huddersfield.

Jessica, 32, is delighted with her success and has gone on to take up a new role as a birth suite midwife for the East Lancasire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Burnley.

It is a major change of direction from her role as a stage manager for leading theatre companies.

“I have always wanted to care for people,” she said.

“As a stage manager I cared for actors but I wanted to work with women who I felt really required some encouragement.

“I think midwifery is theatre. Birth is a drama.”

In order to qualify, Jessica had to be responsible for the delivery of 40 babies.

She described her first experience of real-life midwifery, at the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust in Dewsbury, as “terrifying”.

“During my first shift on the labour ward I stood there thinking I am never going to learn how to deal with this. But I stayed on and I feel that I am ready for anything now.”