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City hosts maternal and child health research partnership event

Centre for Maternal and Child Health aims to improve health of women and children through undertaking high-quality research

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Clinicians, researchers, commissioners and members of the public were invited to City University London earlier this month to hear about current research from the Centre for Maternal and Child Health.

Aiming to collaboratively development research within the sector, the event also provided an opportunity to facilitate collaboration with external individuals and organisations, along with links with local communities and NHS Trusts. As a result, guests were asked to contribute to current research priorities, and discuss opportunities for postgraduate studies and collaborative research.

Consisting of 34 members of research and teaching staff and 20 PhD students, the Centre for Maternal and Child Health aims to improve health of women and children through undertaking high-quality research committed to the health and care of women, children, families and communities. Research from the Centre is also translated directly into healthcare education and practice.

To achieve this, the Centre is split into four groups. These are:

  • Models of care (Professor Chris McCourt)
  • Public health, social diversity and inequalities in maternal and child health (Dr Gill Craig)
  • Maternal and child mental health (Professor Susan Ayers)
  • Education and care in the community (Dr Ros Bryar)

Introducing the event, Professor Susan Ayers, lead of the Centre for Maternal and Child Health, spoke further about current work from the Centre, with each of the lead academics from the individual groups then updating the attendees on how the Centre is addressing the research priorities set at last year’s event.

This included research on screening for postnatal mental health problems and barriers to disclosure; studies of postnatal care & listening services; and work looking at psychosocial support for children with neurodisability and feeding difficulties.

Following the talks, there was an opportunity to meet other attendees and also see some of the posters highlighting recent research from the Centre.

After the break, Dr Ellinor Olander spoke about the Centre’s Research Advisory Group, which invites parents or parents-to-be who want to be involved in research to improve the health of children and their families. Interested people can participate through email, Skype, phone or by coming to bimonthly meetings.

Topics they’re asked about include: different types of care for mother and baby, including home births or care led by midwives; services and treatments for mental health during and after pregnancy; and community services that promote health and wellbeing.

Following Dr Olander’s talk, Hazel Roberts and Shawn Walker spoke about their experiences of the MSc and PhD programme respectively.

At the close of the event, the Dora Opoku OBE award was given to Susan Bradley for her PhD project on midwives’ perspectives on delivering respectful obstetric care in Malawi. Dora Opoku was the former head of Midwifery at City University London from 1995 to 2010, and the award is given to support research activity in midwifery and nursing-related topics in developing countries, to promote a global focus on maternal and child health.

Speaking about the event, Professor Susan Ayers said:

“The aim of the Research Centre and work we do at City is to improve health of women and children through undertaking high-quality research committed to the health and care of women, children, families and communities.

“This thread runs through all our work and, as a result, our yearly research partnership event provides a great opportunity to facilitate collaboration with individuals and organisations, along with links with local communities and NHS Trusts. By working closely with such partners we can hear about what issues are directly affecting them and collaboratively develop research projects, while also working to translate the results of this research directly into healthcare education and practice at City University London.”

Follow the Centre on Twitter @City_CMCHR and you can find out more about their work here

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