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  2. Research students
  3. Students
  4. Alumni
  5. Senior people at City
  6. Non-academic staff
  7. Honorary graduates

Contact Information


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Lesley Kay qualified as a midwife in 2000 and spent the latter part of her clinical career working as a leader in a community setting. Her role involved managing a locality team of community midwives, taking responsibility for coordinating the 24-hour operational function of the team, and working at the interface between the acute and primary setting. Dr Kay moved to work in education in 2009 and has worked in academic posts at Anglia Ruskin University, Kingston University and University College Cork. Alongside her substantive posts Lesley has eight years’ experience of working with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a panellist in their Fitness to Practice Directorate, where she was able to make a significant and recognised contribution to the profession and to the wider community. Currently, Lesley works as a volunteer midwife educator with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) supporting their twinning project with the Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS). The project aims to strengthen the BMS to advocate for the midwifery profession, create demand for midwifery services and is part of a wider programme of midwifery strengthening activities.

Lesley gained her PhD from the University of Central Lancashire in 2016. Her research interests are centred on women's expectations and experiences of birth, particularly how birth stories might shape the way that women experience birth, perinatal mental health, the arts and midwifery, global and respectful midwifery care.


  1. Postgraduate Certificate of Medical Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sep 2020 – Nov 2007
  2. Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom, Jun 2017
  3. PhD, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom, Oct 2010 – Jun 2016
  4. NMC Recordable Teaching Qualification, Nursing and Midwifery Council, United Kingdom, Apr 2010
  5. Master of Studies Primary and Community Care, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sep 2004 – Nov 2007
  6. Registered Midwife, Nursing and Midwifery Council, United Kingdom, Sep 2000
  7. BSc (Hons) Midwifery, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom, Sep 1997 – Jul 2000
  8. BA (Hons) English Literature, Swansea University, United Kingdom, Sep 1985 – Aug 1988

Administrative role

  1. Module Leader, MW1004 Using Evidence in Midwifery Practice MW3000 Midwifery Dissertation APMO58 Leading and Evaluating Learning in Healthcare Practice, Sep 2020 – present


  1. External Examiner, University of Central Lancashire, Jun 2020 – present
  2. Associate Professor, City, University London, Mar 2020 – present
  3. Associate Professor, Kingston University and St. George's University of London, Aug 2018 – Mar 2020
  4. External Examiner, University College Cork, Nov 2016 – Nov 2019
  5. Senior Lecturer, Kingston University and St. George's University of London, Sep 2015 – Jul 2018
  6. Fitness to Practice Panellist, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Mar 2009 – Jun 2017
  7. Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, Jan 2009 – Aug 2013
  8. Senior Midwife, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Jan 2003 – Jan 2009
  9. Midwife, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Sep 2000 – Jan 2003


Geographic Areas

  • Asia - Southeast
  • Europe


  1. Crowther, S.A., Hall, J., Balabanoff, D., Baranowska, B., Kay, L., Menage, D. … Fry, J. (2020). Spirituality and childbirth: An international virtual co–operative inquiry. Women and Birth. doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2020.02.004.
  2. Kay, L., Downe, S., Thomson, G. and Finlayson, K. (2017). "Engaging with birth stories in pregnancy: A hermeneutic phenomenological study of women's experiences across two generations". BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12884-017-1476-4.

Chapters (3)

  1. Kay, L. and Marshall, J. (2019). Leadership and Management in Midwifery. In Marshall, J. (Ed.), Myles Professional Studies for Midwifery Education and Practice Concepts and Challenges (pp. 211–228). Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7020-6860-7.
  2. Kay, L., Hundley, V. and Tsekulova, N. (2019). Media representations of childbirth. In Downe, S. and Byrom, S. (Eds.), Squaring the Circle Researching Normal Birth in a Technological World (pp. 130–139). Pinter and Martin. ISBN 978-1-78066-440-8.
  3. Byrom, S. and Kay, L. (2013). Midwifery Leadership: Theory, Practice and Potential. Essential Midwifery Practice: Leadership, Expertise and Collaborative Working (pp. 7–22). ISBN 978-1-4051-8431-1.

Conference papers and proceedings (14)

  1. Kay, L. (2019). #METOO in the birth room. UNESCO Bioethics Conference: Maternity and Reproduction Spoke, 2019 15 October, Swansea University, United Kingdom.
  2. Kay, L. and Coxon, K. (2019). Respectful maternity care: mapping current global initiatives designed to achieve a positive experience of childbirth, reduce interventions without clinical benefit or increase access to high quality maternity care. 14th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference, 2019 17-19 June, Grange-Over-Sands, United Kingdom.
  3. Kay, L., Coxon, K. and Healy, M. (2019). Normal Birth Strategy Symposium. 14th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference, 2019 17-19 June, Grange-Over-Sands, United Kingdom.
  4. Kay, L. (2018). Fostering a creative approach: engaging students and equipping them with skills to positively contribute to and work in a global and diverse environment. 2nd International Midwifery Education Conference: What works in midwifery education? 2018 27 June, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom.
  5. Kay, L. and Calonder, C. (2018). ‘dis ͻhord’: one woman’s experience of confronting and understanding the lived experience of birth. Department of Midwifery Annual Conference: 'I have a voice', 2018 14 February, Kingston University, United Kingdom.
  6. Kay, L. (2017). Engaging with the modern birth story in pregnancy: everydayness, absorption and the 'idle talk' of birth. 12th International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference 2-4 October, Grange-Over-Sands.
  7. Kay, L. (2017). Birth in the twilight of certainty. 31st ICM Triennial Congress: Midwives - Making a Difference in the World, 2017 18-22 June, Toronto, Canada.
  8. Kay, L. (2016). Hearing stories of birth in pregnancy: a hermeneutic phenomenological study of women's experiences across two generations. 11th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference, 2016 10-13 October, Sydney, Australia.
  9. Kay, L. (2016). Engaging with the modern birth story in pregnancy: everydayness, absorption and the 'idle talk' of birth. Giving voice to our experience: On Heidegger, Phenomenology and the Challenges of Language, 2016 8-11 August, Denver, United States of America.
  10. Kay, L. (2015). Stories are difficult like that: a phenomenological study. 10th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference, 2015 15-17 June, Grange-Over-Sands, United Kingdom.
  11. Kay, L. (2013). Awash with information and looking for a lifeline. 8th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference, 2013 5-7 June, Grange-Over-Sands, United Kingdom.
  12. Kay, L. (2011). Planning a metasynthesis of the literature: negotiating the meta-muddle. Royal College of Midwives Annual Conference: Valuing Midwives, Improving Outcomes, 2011 15-16 November, Brighton, United Kingdom.
  13. Kay, L. (2011). Starting the journey: formulating a research proposal for the purposes of a PhD. 29th ICM Triennial Congress: Midwives tackling the 'Big 5' Globally, 2011 19-23 June, Durban, South Africa.
  14. Kay, L. (2009). A critical ethnographic inquiry exploring the experience of midwife team leaders. Women and Birth: Politics, Power and Practice: the 2nd Annual University of Worcester Birth Conference, 2009 14-15 July, Worcester, United Kingdom.

Journal articles (15)

  1. Kay, L. (2020). Exchanging ideas and good practice globally: reciprocal learning in the context of a twinning project. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 30(1), pp. 127–130.
  2. Kay, L. and Calonder, C. (2019). 'dis ɔhord' : one woman’s experience of confronting and understanding the lived experience of birth. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 29(1), pp. 90–94.
  3. Sheehan, E., Khalil, A. and Kay, L. (2019). Using a smartphone app to identify signs of pre-eclampsia and/or worsening blood pressure. British Journal of Midwifery, 27(2), pp. 92–99. doi:10.12968/bjom.2019.27.2.92.
  4. Kay, L. (2017). Studying for a doctorate: Developing a strong voice. Practising Midwife, 20(4), pp. 18–20.
  5. Kay, L. (2012). Self evaluation: A specific session. Practising Midwife, 15(4), pp. 21–25.
  6. Kay, L. (2011). Learner evaluation including design, use and evaluation of an appropriate tool. Practising Midwife, 14(7-8), pp. 33–34.
  7. Kay, L. (2011). Participation in and a review of educational audit. Practising Midwife, 14(3), pp. 31–32.
  8. Kay, L. (2011). Assessing and implementing approved assessment procedures. Practising Midwife, 14(1), pp. 29–30.
  9. Kay, L. (2010). Donning the mask. Practising Midwife, 13(4), p. 25.
  10. Kay, L. (2010). I have decided that the world of academia is most definitely where I want to be. Practising Midwife, 13(7), p. 46.
  11. Kay, L. (2010). Not such a different role. The practising midwife, 13(7), p. 46.
  12. Kay, L. (2010). Leading other Midwives: Experience of midwife team leaders. British Journal of Midwifery, 18(12), pp. 764–769. doi:10.12968/bjom.2010.18.12.764.
  13. Kay, L. (2010). Evaluating a module. Practising Midwife, 13(10), pp. 34–35.
  14. Kay, L. (2009). Sink or swim? The Practising Midwife, 12(11), pp. 30–30.
  15. Kay, L. (2009). Still a midwife? The transition from clinician to educator. Practising Midwife, 12(8), p. 26.


  1. Kay, L. Engaging with the 'modern birth story' in pregnancy: A hermeneutic phenomenological study of women's experiences. (PhD Thesis)

Other Activities

Collaboration (industrial)

  1. Partner of Volunteer Midwife Educator project
    Other partners: Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS)

Clinical activity

  1. Liaison Lecturer, Whipps Cross Hospital, Mar 2020 – present

Editorial activity

  1. Evidenced Based Midwifery and MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, Editorial Advisory Board member, Jun 2020 – present.


  1. Journal Reviewer, 'British Journal of Midwifery' 'Midwifery' 'Women and Birth' (Sep 2019 – present).