October 2015: Maternity Care
The inaugural research seminar was curated by Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives and Visiting Professor of Midwifery at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kings College London. An invited group of lay and professional experts in pregnancy and maternity care met at Green Templeton College for two days of presentations and intensive discussion of the evidence around continuity in midwifery-led care. Among the participants was Baroness Julia Cumberlege, chair of the National Maternity Review.
The final report of the research seminar was published jointly by Green Templeton College and King's College London in April 2016 entitled,
Relationships: the pathway to safe, high-quality maternity care .
Click to read the full report.
It provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence of the benefits of continuity of midwife care to women, their families and the National Health Service.
February 2016: Female Genital Mutilation
This event provided an opportunity to share findings from research on a small GTC grant led by Sharon Dixon, Lisa Hinton and GTC research fellow Louise Locock, and supported by Brenda Kelly, lead clinician for the Oxford Rose clinic. The aim was to share experience and progress in this field and to develop an agenda for further research .
Participants included members of community groups, people working in clinical services, multi-agency team workers (police, social services and community outreach workers), legal experts, members of charitable organisations, and academics. The seminar included a dance and song performance by Diasporan Hands, a group of Sierra Leoneans living in the UK working to empowering women and girls through awareness raising, advocacy, and direct support.
The meeting took place at Green Templeton College, Oxford on 27.2.2016 entitled:
FGM: where have we got to? And what comes next?
For more on the seminar please see the final report.
February 2017: Communicating to children about life threatening illness: critical to children’s health and resilience
Life threatening illness is common in families with children: breast cancer, for example, affects 1 in 12 women in Britain, 30% of whom are likely to be diagnosed while they have children still living at home. Other cancers such as bowel and testicular cancer also occur in this age group although somewhat less frequently. In low and middle/income countries (LMICs) life threatening illnesses affect even more families. HIV infection rates peak in women of childbearing age with up to 40% of pregnant women infected with HIV in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. With the advent of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), the vast majority of children remain uninfected but grow up in families where at least one parent is HIV positive. There are a number of other infections and conditions, which disproportionately affect parents in LMICs. The recent Ebola crisis is one such example.
A separate body of evidence exists in relation to the communication to children about their own life-threatening illness and possible death. Again, age appropriate communication is very important. A considerable amount of work has been conducted in the context of HIV and there is now a large cohort of HIV infected children and adolescents, who are facing a lifetime of coping with a life threatening illness. Most work however, has been conducted in high income countries and has focused on childhood cancer.
A multi-disciplinary workshop is planned for February 2017 convened by Professor Alan Stein, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Oxford. The workshop will include clinicians and researchers from both High and Low/ Middle Income countries and will bring together the evidence as well as experience in relation to the communication of life threatening illness in the family to children. The final outcome will be the development of guidelines to enable this communication which will be published.
April 2017: End of Life Decision Making for Patients in Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness: Human rights, ethics, law, medicine, science and society
A two-day international seminar curated by Professor Celia Kitzinger (York) and Professor Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff) of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre (cdoc.org.uk).
Modern medical technologies and current legal practices are such that patients in prolonged disorders of consciousness (vegetative or minimally conscious states) are often maintained for years – or decades – after their families believe they would have wanted treatment withdrawn. Our aim is to bring together a small group of international experts (plus some early career researchers for capacity-building) to share experiences, to learn from the ways systems work in different countries, to identify the problems in diverse systems and to work towards solutions.
Contributions will be published as a collection in either an edited book or a special issue of a journal.
Also planned: Transforming Consent in Maternity Care
The recent decision of the UK Supreme Court in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (2015) reveals the interdependence of safety and respectful care. It deprecates the use of consent forms and information leaflets and holds that the law requires clinicians to have detailed and personalised discussions with women that enables them to make their own decisions on the basis of information on ‘all material risks’.
The Montgomery decision has profound consequences for the interaction of the principle of informed consent, clinical practice and the structural implementation of choice in maternity services. A one-day seminar will bring together leaders in law and healthcare to share ideas and propose recommendations for a maternity system and culture that enables lawful consent.