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.
In response to maternity units during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sara has moved the training to be remote for The Birmingham Symptom specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS) because so many units wanted to implement the system to improve safety in their triage departments. BSOTS includes a prompt and brief assessment (triage) of the women on presentation, and then a standardised way of determining the clinical urgency in which they need to be seen using a four category scale. With Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sara has also led the development of standardised advice for telephone triage, helping to prioritise the help women need during the pandemic.