“Righteously angry” NHS midwife runs for Sheffield Council

Labour has taken on a new meaning for a Burngreave midwife running for Sheffield City Council.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:05 pm

Alison Norris, 56, is the latest Labour candidate standing to represent Broomhill and Sharrow Vale.

Ms Norris said she felt "righteously angry" at the lack of government support NHS workers received throughout the pandemic.

During the height of the coronavirus crisis, displays of support came in the form of the clap for carers movement and sirens from police and firemen outside the Jessop Unit at the Royal Hallamshire hospital.

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Alison Norris.

Although they moved her, Ms Norris insisted it isn't enough.

"Our support workers and our cleaners who have been literally risking their lives to do this work are on such rubbish pay for what they do and getting one percent on top of it," the midwife said.

Yet it wasn't the lack of support for NHS workers alone that pushed the candidate to get involved in local politics.

After she saw the emphasis placed on climate change during the 2019 election, she felt there was too much to be done for anyone to "sit by and wait for someone else to do it."

Backing a green new deal for the city and pushing for retrofitted council houses are two of her key policies.

With two young adult children of her own, the midwife felt an urgency to push climate policy forward before it's too late.

"We can't leave it to the kids to do something. By the time they get in a position to be able to do something, it will be too late," the candidate said.

However, it is her experience in the NHS that she draws on for inspiration.

"One of the things I love about midwifery is helping people do things they don't think they can do and then you can see them taking that forward into other parts of their lives," Ms Norris said.

The midwife compared communicating with constituents to the induction process in birthing, during which she had to manage mothers' risk levels, needs, and anxieties with the limited resources available to the medical team.

She praised the two-way communication between patients and NHS staff: "I think there's something to learn from that."

Balancing people's needs and providing its constituents with the facts is vital, Ms Norris insisted: "If you give people good quality information, they make really interesting, creative decisions. I'm that kind of midwife and I want to be that kind of politician."