Current studies

If you have a study that you would like the RCM to support and host on its website or would like to discuss a forthcoming piece of research, please get in touch via [email protected]. Our Research Advisors Jenny Cunningham and Jude Field are happy to discuss requests. All requests get considered at a meeting of Expert Clinical Advisory Group.

Li Li is a Chinese-English interpreter, translator, and doctoral student at the University of East Anglia. Her collaborative doctoral research project entitled: Language Quality in Maternity (REC Ref. 20/WA/0129) focuses on language barriers in maternity settings. It examines the effective use of video-mediated interpreting services to care for pregnant women/birthing people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the UK.

We are looking for volunteers who need interpreting/language support services to provide maternity care in the UK. By participating in this study, you will help us to understand how video-mediated interpreting affects communication effectiveness in maternity settings to improve care for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

As an anonymous participant in this study, you would be invited to participate in an online questionnaire and /or a follow-up interview via Teams. Scan the QR code below to access the online questionnaire or click here. A £50 Amazon voucher draw is available for all completed questionnaires by 4 July 2022. Please get in touch if more time is needed.

 

At the end of the questionnaire, you are invited to leave your details to participate in a follow-up interview. Your participation is entirely voluntary and would take up approximately 30 minutes to one hour. To learn more or participate in this research, please email research student Li Li at [email protected].

Hora Soltani, is a Professor in Maternal and Infant Health within Health and Social Care Research at Sheffield Hallam University. She is currently leading a research project on ethnic inequalities in neonatal health and care provision with an interdisciplinary team of research and health professionals (Frankie Fair, Amy Furness, Professor Sam Oddie and Professor Gina Higginbottom). This is mainly focused on concerns regarding routine perinatal practices such as Apgar scores in which skin colour is a key element of neonatal examination which may mediate disadvantaging babies with darker skin, due to practices based on white European babies.

This project is therefore designed to explore experiences of key stakeholders (healthcare professionals and service users from Black and Asian background) in relation to neonatal testing and practice including but not limited to Apgar scores and jaundice. The study objectives will be achieved using triangulation of methods including systematic review, desk top review and qualitative in-depth explorative research. You can help us in two ways:

  1. If you are aware of any relevant policy or article in line with this study objectives, please do let us know.
  2. It is proposed that qualitative interviews will be undertaken with 8 neonatologists or paediatricians or neonatal nurses; 8 midwives and obstetricians; 8 health visitors & 12 maternity service users.

Please do spread the word about this project and if you have a story to share or you know of any potential participants or simply want more information, do let me know via email ([email protected]).

Changing conditions, communication and connections, continuing to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear from you again! Please help with this Health and Social Care Workforce Study.

Are you a midwife who is currently employed or self-employed (or working for an agency) within any area of practice in the UK? We want to understand more about your quality of working life and coping in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic. So far, we have received over 11,000 responses to our four earlier surveys but we want to know what is happening now.

Our fifth survey begins on 16th May and will stay open until 8th July 2022. You don’t have to have taken part previously to respond. The links below will take you to further information about the study and to the survey which is exploring the health and wellbeing of nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers in UK during the Pandemic. An overview of the findings so far can be found here. It is completely confidential.

If you would like further information about the research, please contact Patricia Gillen on [email protected] or other members of the research team on [email protected].

At the end of the survey, there is the opportunity to leave your details if you would like to take part in online focus groups which will take place in June 2022, or you can email, Patricia Gillen on [email protected]  or the research team on [email protected]. Please consider taking part as we would like to further explore the findings from the survey with health and social care front line workers, managers and Human Resource managers from across the UK.

Funding: Phase 1 research was funded by seed funding from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. Phase 2 onwards was funded by the HSC Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, and England’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce (PR-PRU-1217-21002.). In addition, employers, professional regulators, associations and workplace unions including NIPEC, the RCN, RCM, RCOT, BDA, COP, NI SCC. Scottish Social Services Council and Social Care Wales are helping to get the survey to potential participants. Community Care has helped with dissemination to social workers UK wide. Sincere thanks to our funders and partners for their support with this research.

MuM-PreDiCT is a group of 8 UK universities with a multidisciplinary group, including Midwifery and Obstetrics colleagues. Our aim is to improve care for pregnant women with multiple long-term conditions through research.

What mother & baby outcomes are important to you?

Are you a Midwife or Allied Health Professionals who look after pregnant women with multiple long-term physical / mental health conditions? We invite you to take part in a Delphi Survey. Help us reach agreement on a set of research outcomes that should be reported in all studies for pregnant women with multiple long-term conditions (Video: What is a Core Outcome Set).

What would taking part involve?

Take part in a 20 minute online survey. The first survey will close on 31st May 2022.

Survey: https://bham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/delphi-survey-core-outcome-set-mumpredict

The survey will ask you to rate on a scale of 1 to 9 how important are each outcome. All outcomes are important, but we need your help to agree on a list of outcomes that are so important it should be reported in all studies.

After the first survey, you will be invited to 2 follow up surveys. In subsequent rounds, we will share with you the anonymised ratings for each outcome. You are not obliged to complete the follow up surveys, but it will really help us reach an agreement across all stakeholders.

Funder and ethics

MuM-PreDiCT is funded by MRC-NIHR Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF): Tackling multimorbidity at scale (grant number MR/W014432/1). The Core Outcome Set study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Birmingham (ERN20_1264).

Contact for queries

Siang Ing Lee, Clinical Research Fellow, MuM-PreDiCT [email protected]

I am an MPH (Master of Public Health Student) student at Kings College London, looking to complete my dissertation research. I also currently work as the fetal surveillance midwife at the Rosie Hospital (Addenbrookes), and as a lecturer at the University of Suffolk. This piece of research focuses on understanding midwives’ perspectives on the practice of midwifery-led care in the intrapartum period.  

The study will seek to gain in-depth, qualitative data from several focus groups (conducted via Microsoft Teams) and aims to understand the barriers and facilitators to midwives providing physiological care in the intrapartum period, to understand a rising intervention rate across the United Kingdom. It is crucial to understand the social factors that impact a midwives’ ability to provide midwife-led care to promote physiological birth (in cases where this is most appropriate) to determine whether the increased intervention rate is justified.  

This study has been reviewed and approved by Kings College London ethical committee. If you are currently working, or have recently worked, on a midwifery-led birth centre or obstetric-led delivery unit, please contact me for further information regarding the study at: [email protected]

Vimbai Mamombe is a doctoral student at the University of Leicester. Her research focuses on the role of health care professionals that offer breastfeeding support to mothers of late preterm infants in the UK postnatal setting.

The research seeks to understand the role of healthcare professionals who provide breastfeeding support to mothers of late preterm infants (born at 34 weeks 0 days to 36 weeks 6 days of gestation), in different postnatal settings in the UK. The aim of the research is to allow healthcare professionals to identify their roles in breastfeeding support practices for mothers of late preterm infants.

If you are currently working in a postnatal setting in the UK and you offer breastfeeding support to mothers of late preterm infants, please would you spare about 15 minutes and respond to the survey here.

Thank you for taking part in the survey.

Becoming a new parent at any time can be challenging as well as wonderful. However, those becoming first-time parents during the Covid-19 pandemic have faced unprecedented circumstances. Now, three researchers, who are themselves pandemic first-time parents, think parents’ stories need to be heard. 

Researchers from the University of Sheffield and University of Warwick, in collaboration with the NCT, are inviting first-time parents to share their anonymous experiences of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Our whole team feels strongly that there is a need to document how pregnancy, birth and new parenthood has been during this time, and to share these accounts widely, so that other parents can read them and perhaps feel a little less alone. We also hope to draw on parents’ accounts to advocate for relevant support for new parents.

Whether your own experience has been positive, negative or a mix of both, we would love to hear from you.

Share your experience here.

Find out more on our website and read other parents’ stories here

Counselling parents at periviable gestation is variable from person to person and hospital to hospital. This level of variation is not acceptable. Please take 10mins to complete our survey and help with this preliminary work aimed at improving the quality and process of information sharing with parents facing periviable delivery. All answers are anonymous.

Please take our survey here

The closing date is 10th April 2022. Thank you.

Dr Bismeen Jadoon is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She is currently completing a Masters degree in International Health & Clinical Leadership from the University of Sheffield.

Related to this, she is conducting a research study. The aim is to evaluate the maternity teamwork” experience of obstetricians and midwives. This is using a novel approach through the Lencioni model of a cohesive team.  Your participation is requested by completing a short (4 mins) anonymous survey. The objective is to determine the strengths and challenges of teamwork within maternity services. For more information, please contact Bismeen at [email protected].

Please use the following link for further details. Thank you in advance. 

Survey link: https://shef.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8tXknLFhpBTQwYu

Please consider participating in my research. I am looking for staff experiences of asking for help in maternity services. I really would like all grades of staff involved in this project. 

I want to know what your stories are, how do SBAR, EWS and SEPSIS tools support you? What gets in the way of teamwork? What works well? Are you trained in the use of these tools? What does asking for help and escalating care look like in the real world? If you don't directly use these visual tools yourself, what role do you play within your team? Admin staff, we couldn't do our jobs without you. Students, what does it feel like for you in training? Front line staff, what does good look like? Managers, where does the information collected go? 

All participants will be anonymous, and I promise that this research will be different. 

My QR codes and links in the PDF underneath takes potential participants directly to my information, so please join in. Any questions, just e-mail me: [email protected].

Click here for QR codes and links

  

The Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group at the University of Nottingham is undertaking a project to explore implementation of remote/virtual care during pregnancy. The study is called [email protected] (A Realist Inquiry into Maternity Care @ A Distance) and seeks to understand how digital consultations can work to support safe, personalised and appropriate maternity care and to clarify when they might be most appropriately used, for whom, when, and in what contexts. The 18-month project is being led by Dr Catrin Evans and is a realist review. This type of evidence synthesis incorporates extensive stakeholder engagement (including health professionals, maternity advocacy and community organisations and service users), alongside an in-depth and comprehensive review of the global evidence in this area.

The review output will be a theoretically-grounded explanatory framework for safe, appropriate and acceptable digital consultations in maternity care that can be used by NHS stakeholders to guide future service development, policy, practice and research.

We would love you to get involved in our stakeholder events and webinars. See the [email protected] project website for more details and to express an interest. Alternatively, drop us an email: [email protected].

Newly Qualified Nurses and Midwives invited to take part in a European research study

A new research study has been launched on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the transition of Newly Qualified Nurses and Midwives (NQNM) to their professional role in four European countries (Ireland, UK, Italy and Croatia).

The cross-sectional study is being conducted by the European Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Research in CPD based in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin in partnership with the University of Hull (UK), the University of Genoa (Italy), the Croatian Nursing Council and the Croatian Midwifery Council (Croatia).

The aim of this study is to develop a better understanding of the CPD needs of NQNMs and explore factors associated with CPD participation during the transition period for NQNMs.

There is widespread recognition that many NQNMs find it difficult to make the transition from completing their university course to taking up their first registered nurse/midwife post. Professional support through participation in CPD activities during this critical time is essential for both competence and confidence of NQNMs.

However, there is limited information about the range and extent of CPD activities NQNMs participate in during the first 24 months following graduation. It is also not well known how NQNMs participation in CPD activities is associated with job satisfaction and intention to leave the organisation or the profession.

If you would like to take part in this study, further information is available here.

Anna Madeley is a Midwife, Lecturer and Doctoral student at the Open University, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. Her research, writing and academic interests including complex pregnancy planning, home birth and outside of guidelines care.

This grounded theory study PhD aims to improve understanding of and explain why and how women and birthing people make their decisions to make non-normative or alternative choices in pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the underlying social processes that accompany them.

By understanding these experiences and choices, it is anticipated that we can learn more about how we can support as well as align and contrast with existing knowledge around how clinicians support alternative choices to create a firm evidence base upon which to predicate equitable care pathways.

Examples of a non-normative choice in pregnancy and childbirth might be:

  • Requested care or place of birth that isn’t routinely offered, recommended, or medically indicated?g., Caesarean Section with no medical or obstetric reason, non-low risk home birth or waterbirth, freebirth (list not exhaustive)
  • Declined or refused care or intervention that IS recommended, offered routinelyg., declining pre-pregnancy care or preparation for pregnancy, screening, Induction of labour, vaginal examination, antenatal care, fetal monitoring, screening, clinical examination (list not exhaustive)

This research project has been reviewed by, and received a favourable opinion, from The Open University Human Research Ethics Committee on 10/08/21 – HREC reference number: 4062

To learn more or enquire about taking part, email: [email protected] or follow

T: @NNChoiceProject /@annathemidwife

Instagram: nn_choices_in_maternity_project

Significant changes are occurring in the landscape of abortion provision and the SACHA (Shaping Abortion for Change) Study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, is the largest research project on abortion to be carried out to date in the UK aiming to create an evidence base to guide new directions in abortion care. The study will collate and synthesise existing research findings on novel models of care, draw lessons from countries spearheading reforms in abortion provision, and consult women, practitioners, and key stakeholders on approaches likely to be most feasible and acceptable in the UK context.

The proposed decriminalisation and demedicalisation of abortion will have significant implications for all methods of delivery and care, and for health care practitioners’ roles in administering and supporting abortion procedures. The selected professionals will be approached and invited to take part in the study by completing a questionnaire over the next few months, if you receive this and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Natasha Salaria ([email protected]).

The SACHA study has received favourable ethical opinion from the NHS Health Research Authority, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), MSI Reproductive Choices and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). Further information is available on the study website.

Dr Christy Burden and Dr Anna Davies from the University of Bristol and Southmead Hospital (North Bristol NHS Trust), are undertaking a study investigating current and Covid pandemic-related changes in practice for identifying and managing overweight women and women with risk of gestational diabetes (GDM). This work is part of an international trial with colleagues in Australia, Ireland and Spain (Impact Diabetes: URL) in which they are trialing an App-based lifestyle intervention to prevent GDM and reduce maternal weight in pregnancy.

The aim of our survey is to map NHS practice and variations for managing overweight women and identifying and managing women with GDM. We would like staff who have a role in the care of women who are overweight and/or women with GDM to tell us about current practices in their maternity service. Please click on this Survey link, which takes around 10 minutes to complete.

Thank you for your support. Please email [email protected] for any information.

Rachel Rowe is an Associate Professor and Senior Health Services Researcher in the NPEU at the University of Oxford, and the Head of the UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS), which she set up in 2015, funded by an NIHR Post-doctoral Fellowship. Her research interests include intrapartum care, the organisation of maternity care and women’s experience of care, with a particular focus on midwifery-led settings. She is also a co-investigator for the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Maternal and Neonatal Health and Care.

The UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS) is national system for carrying out research in midwifery units.  The UKMidSS Diabetes Study aims to investigate how many women with diabetes (gestational or pre-existing) are admitted to midwifery units for labour care, what the characteristics and outcomes of these women (and their babies) are, and whether some women with diabetes might safely plan birth in a midwifery unit, particularly an alongside midwifery unit where there is ready access to neonatal care.

Ethical review has been obtained from NRES Committee South West – Frenchay

For more information or to discuss participation please visit our website or contact: [email protected]

Twitter: @NPEU_UKMidSS

Molly Turgoose is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Lancaster University looking to recruit qualified midwives to take part in individual interviews. Midwives would be asked about their perspectives regarding specific aspects of perinatal mental health in new mothers called ‘psychotic-like experiences’. This research is important as there is very little known about midwives’ perspectives towards certain aspects of perinatal mental health. It is hoped that the results of this study will help us to support midwives in their role of supporting women’s perinatal mental health. The interviews can take place either face-to-face if you live in the North West of England, or alternatively via Microsoft Teams or telephone, and will last approximately an hour. 

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Health and Medicine Ethics Committee at Lancaster University. If you are a qualified midwife currently working in the UK and would like more information about the study or would like to take part, please contact Molly at: [email protected].

A qualitative PhD study amongst approximately 6-9 midwives for interviews conducted online. The aim of the study is to capture the lived experience of ethical dilemmas presenting for midwives in conscientious objection (CO) to abortion by exploring decision-making when required in employment to partake in abortion procedures. The logistical impact of CO in midwifery and medico-legal frameworks which offer guidance and support moral integrity will be examined using IPA.

Take part by calling Jacqueline Richards: [email protected] 

Ethical approval 

Ethical clearance has been achieved through Liverpool John Moores’ University Research Ethical Committee procedures, which have categorised the study as minimal risk to participants. Ref: Richards- 21/NAH/013

About the researcher 

Jacqueline Richards is a practising midwife, writer and lecturer, the researcher has a significant portfolio including publications in professional journals on case-loading, mentorship and ethics as well as writing a chapter - The Light at the End of the Tunnel, which examines recovery from eating disorders. This PhD study comprises part of her work for the Conscientious Objection to Abortion Project, based at the Dept. of Nursing and Allied Health, Liverpool John Moores University.

Adam Holliday is an optometrist looking to recruit pregnant women into a study exploring the effects of pregnancy on vision; this is part of a doctorate programme at South Bank University London. The study is entirely online and pregnant women are asked to complete a vision questionnaire in each trimester and post-partum and optionally to measure their own vision using an online tool. There is significant research literature around the pathological effects of pregnancy on the eye but little on the physiological effects on vision. The aim of the study is to help create clinical guidelines for optometrists and provide evidence-based guidance to those working with pregnant women. The study has developed and designed a purpose-built website, allowing participants to read about the study, sign up, take part and contact the researcher. It would be helpful if you could promote this study to your patients and direct them to the website www.visioninpregnancy.com.

If you have any questions or would like more information or patient leaflets, you can email Adam at: [email protected]

This survey aims to assess current practice in UK maternity units for the detection of breech presentation at term. Some units are currently offering routine ultrasound scans to all women, or groups of women, to avoid undiagnosed breech presentation during labour. However, the rollout and use of such scanning in the UK is currently unknown. The aim of this survey is to understand how practice differs between NHS Trusts or Health Boards. This information will be helpful to assess the feasibility of implementing ultrasound screening as a tool to diagnose breech presentation at term. The aim is not to promote ultrasound screening at term, but to understand current practice across the UK.

The survey is being carried out by researchers at the University of Aberdeen and Cardiff University. We would be grateful if you could tell us about current practice at your maternity unit by clicking on the link to complete the survey.

Strategies to improve iodine status in pregnancy: a qualitative study examining the knowledge and confidence of midwives providing dietary advice - Dr Lucy Kayes is undertaking a PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast and is seeking midwives and those involved in academic midwifery to complete a one-to-one interview covering the topic of nutrition in pregnancy, focusing on iodine. The interview will take approximately 30 minutes and can be carried out via telephone or teleconferencing applications. Please click for a poster. If you are interested in participating contact Lucy Kayes at [email protected]

Maternity studies with RCM involvement as stakeholders 

Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth (ABC) project The project focus is on monitoring and responding to babies’ wellbeing during labour and on managing the emergency complication at caesarean section known as impacted fetal head. We are inviting maternity staff, parents and birth partners from across the country to contribute. Please register to take part 

Re:Birth The Re:Birth project aims to enable the maternity community across the UK – midwives, obstetricians, service users, support workers, students, researchers and others - to come together to develop a new, shared, positive narrative around birth. 

The Chapter study – Childbirth Acquired Perineal Trauma Study The Chapter research team brings together women, the public, midwives, doctors and academics to improve the care for women with CRPT. 

Each year in the UK, 80% of women who give birth vaginally (450,000 women), experience damage to the surrounding area.  This may result from tears or cuts to tissues, muscles and skin around the bladder, vagina and perineum (the skin between the vagina and back passage).  This is called Childbirth Related Perineal Trauma (CRPT).  CRPT needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively. If not treated, women can be left with pelvic floor problems or psychological problems. 

The Chapter Study programme involves four interlinked work packages, with patient and public involvement (PPI) throughout, with the aim of standardising and optimising the care of women with CRPT. 

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