Professor Sara Kenyon PhD, MA, RM

Professor Sara Kenyon

Institute of Applied Health Research
Professor in Evidence Based Maternity Care

Contact details

Address
Murray Learning Centre
Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Kenyon is a midwife by background and a maternity researcher and policy maker.  She currently leads a varied programme of applied health research.

This includes leading the maternity theme of the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) in the West Midlands where there is involvement in service change at every level, from evaluating services in existence to developing and evaluating new services and translating evidence into practice.   Methodologies employed ensure the most robust possible design and are tailored to the topic concerned and the timelines required. 

Professor Kenyon is the Chief Investigator for the HOLDS trial (High or Low Dose Syntocinon) which is funded by the NIHR HTA. This multicentre trial will provide robust evidence about the optimal dose regimen of Syntocinon (oxytocin) for nulliparous women with confirmed delay in the first stage of labour.  She is also the Chief Investigator for the iHOLDS trial which is a multicentre trial also funded by the NIHR which will run in the same maternity units as HOLDS to evaluate the optimum dose of syntocinon for nulliparous women for whom it is prescribed as part of the process of induction of labour.

Professor Kenyon’s national roles include being part of the MBRRACE collaboration since 2011, investigating maternal deaths, stillbirths and infant deaths, including the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Perinatal Deaths. She is involved in both the maternal confidential enquiry and co-chairs the perinatal confidential enquiries.  She is part of the collaboration  funded by HQIP in 2017 on behalf of DH (England), NHS Wales and Scottish Government to develop and establish a national standardised Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT).  The PMRT is used by all UK Trusts and has been designed with user and parent involvement to support high quality standardised perinatal reviews on the principle of 'review once, review well'. 

Professor Kenyon regularly speaks at conferences and has published widely.  She sits on a number of trial steering committees and is Deputy Chair of the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship Scheme Panel.

An NIHR Midwifery Advocate for Career Development, Professor Kenyon usually has two midwives undertaking their MRes dissertations under her supervision, as well as a PhD student who is investigating the use of the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool.

Qualifications

Professor in Evidence Based Maternity Care

  • PhD 'Researching preterm birth: The ORACLE trial and the Children Study' University of Leicester, 2009.
  • MA Applied Health Studies De Montfort University, 2001.
  • Diploma in Professional Studies in Midwifery, South Bank University, 1993.

Professional qualifications:

Registered midwife PIN 76Y0552E

Biography

Professor Kenyon is currently leading the maternity theme of the Applied Resarch Collaboration (ARC) in the West Midlands.

Current projects include:

  • The implementation and evaluation of an obstetric triage system – Birmingham Symptom specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS)- to three maternity units across the West Midlands. BSOTS was developed with Dr Nina Johns and implemented into Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWNFT) in 2012. The system is currently being used by a number of maternity units in the UK and the Academic Health Sciences network is currently investing to improve understanding of the barriers and facilitators to implement BSOTS and agree a standardised approach to adoption of the system.
  • Place of birth discussions by community midwives with low risk women. The team have used  co-production methods to develop a package to improve the content of discussions with women about their place of birth options. The package includes a training session, leaflet and on going support lead by a champion within each team. This has been developed into two sessions available on e-learning for health.  This has given the opportunity to develop a cluster randomised trial, incorporating a modified Solomon design to evaluate whether a place of birth lead midwife within community teams further improved the knowledge of community midwives.  The study will take place over the Black Country Local Maternity System.
  • Professor Kenyon is the Chief Investigator for the HOLDS trial (High or Low Dose Syntocinon) which is funded by the NIHR HTA. This multicentre trial will provide robust evidence about the optimal dose regimen of Syntocinon (oxytocin) for nulliparous women with confirmed delay in the first stage of labour. She is also the Chief Investigator for the iHOLDS trial which is a multicentre trial also funded by the NIHR which will run in the same maternity units as HOLDS to evaluate the optimum dose of syntocinon for nulliparous women for whom it is prescribed as part of the process of induction of labour.

Teaching

Professor Kenyon performs the following teaching activities:

  • Member of the Institute IMPACT/PPI group.
  • Admissions tutor for the Masters in Public Health
  • Facilitates Integrated Problem sessions for the MBCHB Undergraduates
  • Facilitates the Small Group teaching sessions for Maternal Health
  • Supervises Masters in Public Health (MPH) projects as appropriate
  • Supervises HIER projects for MBCHB Undergraduates
  • Personal Tutor for MPH students
  • Undertakes marking of assignments for the MPH course
  • Undertakes marking of MBChB Epidemiology Methods course
  • Undertakes marking for the MBChB Maternal Health course

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Kenyon is supervising a PhD student Jo Dickens with academics at the University of Leicester to undertake a study to explore use of the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool.

Professor Kenyon has supervised four MRes students:

  • Jolene Easterbrook and Jo Naylor Smith were awarded their MRes in July 2015.
  • Cindy Meijer was awarded her MRes in 2016
  •  Justine Jeffery was awarded her MRes in 2017.

All students undertook their dissertations on projects suggested and co-supervised by herself and Dr Alistair Hewison from School of Nursing.

Professor Kenyon currently has one MRes student, Vicki Jarvis, who is undertaking a study to explore the views of community midwives of the Maternity Transformation Plans (BUMP).

She has had a number of Clinical Academic Internship Fellows, which is a paid scheme for midwives to have a 30 day secondment over six months to have some research experience:

  • Vicki Jarvis
  • Fiona Cross-Sudworth

She also has one Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellow – Pip McKnight

Research

Research Groups and Centres

  • Centre for Women's Health and Sciences

Other activities

Professor Kenyon is a member of the 'MBRRACE-UK' collaboration appointed by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to continue the national programme of work investigating maternal deaths, stillbirths and infant deaths, including the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMD). She is involved in both the maternal confidential enquiry and co-chairs the perinatal confidential enquiries. She is part of the collaboration that was funded byHQIP in 2017 on behalf of DH (England), NHS Wales and Scottish Government to develop and establish a national standardised Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT). The PMRT is used by all UK Trusts and has been designed with user and parent involvement to support high quality standardised perinatal reviews on the principle of ‘review once, review well’.

She is an NIHR Midwifery Advocate for Career Development and usually has two midwives undertaking their MRes dissertations under her supervision, as well as a PhD student who is investigating the use of the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool. developing a patient reported outcome measure for pregnancy and childbirth. She was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2019.

Professor Kenyon was previously Chief Investigator for ORACLE Children Study which followed up over 8,000 children whose mothers joined the ORACLE Trial which was published in the Lancet.  She previously lead the NICE Intrapartum Care Guideline published 2007 and was the Group lead for the RCOG Intrapartum Clinical Study Group until autumn 2015.  She was among the founding members and Chair of Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), offering information and support to women regarding antenatal screening – now established for nearly 30 years.

Publications

Jones DR, Pike K, Kenyon S, Pike L, Henderson B, Brocklehurst P, Marlow N, Salt A, Taylor DJ (2011) Routine educational outcome measures in health studies: Key Stage 1 in the ORACLE Children Study follow-up of randomized trial cohorts. Archives of Diseases in Childhood. Jan;96(1):25-9.

Bakali E, Pitchforth E, Kenyon S, Jones DR, Tincello DG, the CARPET 1 Trial Group. (2011) Clinicians' views on feasibility of surgical randomised trials: questionnaire survey for the CARPET 1 trial. Neurourol Urodyn Jan;30(1):69-74. doi: 10.1002/nau.20943.
 
Jackson CJ, Dixon-Woods M, Eborall H, Kenyon S, Toozs-Hobson P, Tincello DG. (2010)
Women’s views and experiences of a patient preference trial in surgery: a qualitative study of the CARPET 1 trial, Clinical Trials Dec;7(6):696-704.DOI: 10.1177/1740774510381286

Kenyon S, Boulvain M, Neilson JP. (2010)  Antibiotics for preterm rupture of membranes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD001058. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001058.pub2.

Farrell B, Kenyon S, Shakur H. Managing clinical trials. (2010) Trials, 11:78.

Kenyon S, Pike K, Jones DR, Brocklehurst P, Marlow N, Salt A, Taylor DJ. (2010 )Has publication of the results of the ORACLE Children Study changed practice in the UK? British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02661.x

Tincello DG, Kenyon S, Slack M, Toozs- Hobson P, Mayne C, Jones DR, Taylor DJ (2009) Colposuspension or TVT with anterior repair for urinary incontinence and prolapse: results of and lessons from a pilot randomised patient preference study (CARPET 1) British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 116:1809–1814.

Hutzal CE , Boyle EM, Kenyon SL, Nash JV,  Winsor S, Taylor DJ, Kirpalani H. (2008) Use of antibiotics for the treatment of preterm parturition and prevention of neonatal morbidity: a meta analysis. America Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.199 (6):620; e1-8.

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

Midwifery lead for 'MBRRACE-UK'