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  4. The REACH Pregnancy Programme: Innovation in reducing maternal and newborn health inequalities in East London




The REACH Pregnancy Programme: Innovation in reducing maternal and newborn health inequalities in East London




This seminar will outline the REACH Pregnancy Programme, a 5 year NIHR-funded programme of collaborative research led by UEL, in partnership with City University, the UCL Institute of Education, and QMUL, with Barts Health as the host Trust. The programme aims to generate high quality evidence on how to improve access to, and enhance the value and experience of, antenatal care (ANC) for socially disadvantaged and ethnically diverse women. Four work packages are included and these will be outlined during the presentation, focusing mainly on a community intervention trial and a re-organisation of ANC based on developing and trialling a local model of group ANC named ‘Pregnancy Circles’.

Lunch will be provided from 12:45. The seminar will commence at 13:00.

The REACH Pregnancy Programme

Inequalities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity are a challenge for public health policy and service delivery in the UK. Antenatal care (ANC) can prevent adverse outcomes for both mothers and babies and has an important role in giving every child the best start in life. Effective approaches are needed to overcome the challenges in enabling accessible and engaging care, particularly among some communities where there are high rates of late and irregular ANC uptake and large numbers of women with complex medical and social needs.


Presenter: Dr Penny Hoara Research Fellow, REACH Pregnancy Programme, UEL/Barts Health NHS Trust

Penny Haora moved back to London in November 2014 to join the multi-centre REACH Pregnancy Programme working closely with Professors Angela Harden (IHHD) and Christine McCourt (City University), as well as other colleagues at UCL’s Institute of Education and the Queen Mary (University of London) Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit. Since 1991, Penny has worked in various capacities in diverse settings in the Asia Pacific Region, and the UK. Employment has included public health and maternal health services research and evaluation; primary and community-based health care; refugee health; and midwifery. Penny’s PhD research involved multidisciplinary research on The Birthing Transition in Thailand, where she was based at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, the Australian National University (ANU). Since 2001, she have been intermittently involved with evaluating health projects/services/programmes, in Nepal, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Penny’s most challenging but rewarding assignment was managing the technical aspects of establishing and operating primary Maternal, Newborn and Child Health services in the Central Highlands of Afghanistan (Bamiyan Province) in 2004-5. The perpetual learner herself, Penny enjoys student interaction, giving occasional lectures, having done tutoring and marking work. She has undertaken contracts for various bodies including UNFPA and (formerly) AusAID.

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When & where

12.45pm - 2.45pmMonday 21st September 2015

ELG08 Drysdale Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom