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Research Theme 4: Maternity Services

It all starts here

The 2016 National Maternity Review recommended fundamental changes to the maternity services in England. For example, the report recommends continuity of care provided by a single midwife. However, we found that only a third of 798 midwives across 27 organisations were willing and able to provide care both in the community and during labour and birth. This suggests that it would be wrong to create expectations that the service cannot meet, despite this being requested by women. Evidence has also accumulated that there are severe inadequacies in care for two important conditions: gestational diabetes and anal sphincter injury. Our research theme was proposed following a consultation with local public advisors, combined with the fact that Birmingham has Europe’s highest birthrate.

Theme lead

Professor Sara Kenyon,
University of Birmingham


Short term:

  • Examine the effect of implementation of two key components of national policy.
  • Co-design and evaluate local initiatives to improve care for gestational diabetes.
  • Conduct a study of service provision for anal sphincter injury.

Longer term:

  • Influence national adoption of policy.