University of Birmingham experts will collaborate on researching policy and patient experience for reproductive health provision, as part of a new Policy Research Unit (PRU).
The NIHR has announced over £100 million of funding for 20 multidisciplinary PRUs, aiming to tackle emerging health and social care issues. An estimated £20 million of this funding has been given to PRUs being hosted by UCL, one of which will focus on reproductive health and feature academic expertise from the University of Birmingham.
Dr Louise Jackson, Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Health Research and Professor Fiona de Londras, Chair of Global Legal Studies, will be working on the new Reproductive Health PRU which will begin its research in January 2024.
Dr Jackson will be providing health economics expertise, reflecting her extensive experience in evaluating interventions across a wide range of reproductive health and women’s health, including integrated health services, referral pathways and remote consultations for sexual and reproductive health. She will also be co-leading the Models of Care theme, which will involve exploring and evaluating different ways of providing care for reproductive health, including through digital technology.
I am looking forward to working as part of the PRU’s multidisciplinary team to ensure government and arm’s length bodies have the best possible information and economic evidence available when making policy decisions about reproductive health.Dr Louise Jackson, University of Birmingham
Dr Jackson commented: “The Institute of Applied Health Research has a reputation for impactful research in reproductive health and women’s health, both within the UK and globally. I am looking forward to working as part of the PRU’s multidisciplinary team to ensure government and arm’s length bodies have the best possible information and economic evidence available when making policy decisions about reproductive health.”
Professor Fiona de Londras will provide reproductive rights expertise across the PRU’s research, reflecting her extensive work on rights-based, law and policy interventions and systems with particular emphasis on access to quality abortion care.
I am very pleased to bring this expertise to the PRU, and to ensure the full integration of human rights in the economic, evaluative, clinical, and participatory work that this vital investment in reproductive health will undertake.Professor Fiona de Londras, University of Birmingham
Professor de Londras said: “Birmingham Law School has one of the country’s largest and strongest groups of scholars working on reproductive rights and health. I am very pleased to bring this expertise to the PRU, and to ensure the full integration of human rights in the economic, evaluative, clinical, and participatory work that this vital investment in reproductive health will undertake.”
The Reproductive Health PRU will be co-directed by Dr Jennifer Hall and Professor Judith Stephenson of the UCL Institute for Women’s Health. Covering all aspects of the reproductive lifecourse, including menopause, contraception, infertility and urogynaecology, this PRU is a collaboration with the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Warwick, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Hywel Dda University Health Board.
Professor Lucy Chappell Chief Scientific Advisor, DHSC Chief Executive of NIHR said: "In the NIHR, we have a range of ways to make sure that health and care research benefits patients and the public. The NIHR's new Policy Research Units are designed to provide strong evaluation of policy. This helps government and related organisations to be able to act on the latest evidence when making decisions about health and social care that could impact us all.
“We are funding Policy Research Units across a range of key areas of policy ranging from cancer screening to social care. Several new topics will expand the ability of the units to help address the major healthcare challenges that we are facing, including improving reproductive health, tackling addiction as well as dementia and neurodegeneration."