A HUDDERSFIELD midwife is one of the first to be selected for a special NHS leadership academy.

Joanne Machon, who works as a teenage pregnancy midwife at Greenhead based Princess Royal Community Health Centre as well as at Huddersfield Royal and Calderdale Royal infirmaries, is among 80 healthcare workers to join the NHS Leadership Academy.

More than 800 applied for the places and Joanne was accepted after a rigorous selection process involving maths and personality tests and an interview in Manchester.

Joanne, who hails from Greetland, said: “I am passionate about the NHS and am passionate about wanting the NHS to be delivering the very best care for its patients that it can.

“I am very proud to have been selected and feel this will develop me so that I contribute more to the NHS to make it even better.

“I am also very grateful to the Trust for all its support.”

The NHS Leadership Academy was launched in April 2012 aimed at developing outstanding leadership in health in order to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS.

It is run on a part-time basis over nine months in conjunction with the participants’ existing clinical roles.

Part of the work will be to design a project to improve patient care in their own field.

The new Fellows were unveiled at an event in Birmingham.

NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson, speaking at the event, said: “We now have an opportunity like no other to get clinical leadership right.

“The new NHS system gives pride of place to clinical leadership, putting clinicians in the driving seat to shape healthcare and improve patient outcomes.

“Leadership is a special skill and we will not get the right quality and quantity of clinical leaders by accident.”