Portchester midwife will take on the London Marathon to raise funds for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity following 35-year career in the NHS

A MIDWIFE is poised to take on the London Marathon to help support the NHS after a 35-year career supporting parents.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:07 pm

In 1986, Sarah Backhouse Fitton started her journey aged 18 to become a midwife at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

This year Sarah has been chosen to represent Portsmouth Hospitals Charity in the London Marathon, which is due to take place on Sunday, October 3.

The healthcare worker celebrated International Day of the Midwife on Wednesday by looking back on her career before the next chapter – taking on the marathon.

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Midwife Sarah Backhouse Fitton is running the London Marathon for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. Pictured: Sarah, who has had a 35-year career in the NHS

Sarah said: ‘After qualifying and staffing on a medical ward for a year, I started midwifery training at the Portsmouth school of midwifery and qualified as a registered midwife in 1992.’

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Sarah worked at St Mary’s for 10 years, and for 20 years she has been a community midwife with Westlands Medical Centre in Portchester.

When Sarah moved to the New Forest, she continued commuting to work rather than move to a trust closer to home.

Midwife Sarah Backhouse Fitton is running the London Marathon for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. Pictured: Sarah when she was a student midwife

She added: ‘What I like about being a community midwife is the continuity that I have been able to offer the women that I have looked after for so many years.

‘While things have changed immensely in terms of how we do things, the role is still essentially the same – guiding and supporting women through pregnancy to become confident, healthy parents of happy, healthy babies.’

To help improve her fitness and meet new friends in the area, in 2015 Sarah joined a running club to complete the Couch to 5K beginners course.

Midwife Sarah Backhouse Fitton is running the London Marathon for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. Pictured: Sarah's cohort of student midwives

This led to taking on the Great South Run in 2017, after which a friend said it would only be five more kilometres for a half marathon.

Sarah, who has raised £600 already, said: ‘Now, after many half marathons and one marathon under my belt, I am ready to tackle London and fulfil a personal ambition of mine.

‘This year I will have worked for Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust for 35 years, and what better way to celebrate this anniversary than by replacing my club vest for a Portsmouth Hospitals Charity vest in order to raise vital funds to make a positive difference for the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals, their carers and staff who support this care.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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