Dr Beck Taylor BMedSc, MBChB, MPH, FFPH, PhD

Beck Taylor

Institute of Applied Health Research
Clinical Research Fellow
Honorary Consultant in Public Health

Contact details

Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Beck is a Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Public Health working on the Maternity and Child Health theme of the West Midlands Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) programme, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Beck’s research focuses on evaluating maternity services and policy, working in collaboration with women and staff.  She is also interested in the role of the workforce in health improvement, particularly the role of midwives, community health workers and paraprofessionals.  As a public health doctor she is trained to think at population and system-level.  She has skills in qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation, designing research which matches the method to the research question.


  • PhD 2016
  • FFPH 2015
  • Higher Education Academy Associate 2013
  • MPH 2007
  • MBChB 2003
  • BMedSc 2001


Beck qualified in medicine from the University of Birmingham in 2003.  She subsequently worked in hospital and community posts across the East and West Midlands before pursuing specialist training in Public Health.  This involved working in Primary Care Trust, Strategic Health Authority, Health Protection Agency and academic placements, and gaining a Master’s in Public Health, Membership of the Faculty of Public Health, and entry onto the Public Health Specialist Register. 

Beck returned to the University of Birmingham to work with Jayne Parry and Jonathan Mathers on the NIHR Policy Research Programme-funded national evaluation of the Health Trainer role.  This work informed the development of Beck’s doctoral work, exploring the mechanism of health improvement delivered by lay and community health workers, involving workers supporting pregnancy, breastfeeding and young families (awarded 2016). 

In May 2014 Beck joined the Maternity and Child Health Theme of the West Midlands Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) programme. She works closely with maternity services, staff and women to develop and deliver projects to improve health and service improvement and inform local and national policy.  Her focus is on real-world implementation of health improvement interventions and policies in complex health systems.


Postgraduate supervision

Beck is available to supervise PhD students in areas related to her current research interests.


Current and recent research projects:

  • Evaluation of the local implementation of a national policy-driven Maternity Transformation Programme (2017-19)
  • Survey of national Early Adopter midwifery workforce to explore ability and willingness to adopt continuity of care models (2017-18)
  • Evaluation of a dedicated home birth service model, including deployment of Midwifery Support Workers as the second attendant at home births (2014-17)
  • Development of an intervention to improve midwives’ place of birth discussions with women (2014-2018)
  • Comparative analysis of rapid and ‘traditional’ approaches to qualitative data analysis (2015-18)
  • Exploration of women’s attitudes to home birth (2014)
  • Exploration of the mechanism by which community health workers aim to bring health gain to service users in England (2010-2016)
  • Review of the implementation of the national Health Trainer Service initiative (2008-2013)

Other activities

  • Honorary Consultant in Public Health at Public Health England
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Public Health, NIHR HS&DR, Midwifery
  • College of Medicine and Dentistry Athena Swan Committee 2015-2017
  • Module Coordinator MPH Health Promotion 2013-2017


  1. Naylor Smith J, Taylor B, Hewison A, Shaw K, Kenyon S.  ‘I didn’t think you were allowed that, they didn’t mention that.’ A qualitative study exploring women’s perceptions of home birth.  BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018 18(1):105 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-1733-1
  2. Taylor B, Mathers J, Parry J.  A conceptual framework for understanding the mechanism of action of community health workers services: the centrality of social support, Journal of Public Health, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdx161 (epub ahead of print)
  3. Goodwin L, Taylor B, Kokab F, Kenyon S.   Postnatal care in the context of decreasing length of stay in hospital after birth: The perspectives of community midwives  Midwifery. 2018;60;36-40   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.02.006
  4. Taylor B, Henshall C, Goodwin L, Kenyon S.  Task shifting Midwifery Support Workers as the second health worker at a home birth in the UK: A qualitative study.  Midwifery 2018; 62:109 - 115 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.03.003
  5. Henshall C, Taylor B, Goodwin L, Farre A, Jones E, Kenyon S.  Improving the quality and content of midwives’ discussions with low-risk women about their options for place of birth: Co-production and evaluation of an intervention package. Midwifery 2018;59:118-126 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.01.016   
  6. Taylor B, Mathers J, Parry J.  Who are community health workers and what do they do?  Development of an empirically-derived reporting taxonomy.  Journal of Public Health. 2018;40(1):199-209. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdx033.
  7. Jones E, Taylor B, Pritchett R, Cummins C, MacArthur C.  The effect of early postnatal discharge from hospital for women and infants: A systematic review protocol.  Systematic Reviews.  2016; 5(24)  DOI: 10.1186/s13643-016-0193-9
  8. Henshall C, Taylor B, Kenyon S.  A systematic review to examine the evidence regarding discussions by midwives, with women, around their options for where to give birth  BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2016; 14;16(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-0832-0.
  9. Mathers J, Taylor B, Parry J.  Measuring the impact of Health Trainers Services on health and health inequalities: does the service's data collection and reporting system provide reliable information? Journal of Public Health.  2016 [Epub ahead of print].
  10. Mathers J, Taylor B, Parry J. The Challenge of Implementing Peer-Led Interventions in a Professionalized Health Service: A Case Study of the National Health Trainers Service in England. Milbank Quarterly, 2014;92(4):633-840
  11. Sidhu M, Gale P, Gill P, Marshall T, Taylor B, Jolly K.  A systematic review of lay-led group-based self-management interventions for minority-ethnic populations diagnosed with long term conditions in high income countries.  Diversity and equality in health and care, 2014;11(3):225-236.
  12. Mathers J, Taylor R, Parry J.  Formulation and implementation of evidence-based public health policy in political environments: the health trainer service initiative in England. The Lancet 2012; 380:S18.
  13. Thomas William S, Taylor R, Barrett S, Janmohamed K. Changes in HIV testing rates among patients with tuberculosis in a large multiethnic city in the United Kingdom.  International Journal of STD & AIDS 2011 Dec;22(12):748-50.
  14. Marshall T, Taylor B, Hothersall E, Pérez-Martín L.  Plagiarism: a case study of quality improvement in a taught postgraduate programme. Medical Teacher 2011;3(7):e375-e381. 
  15. Taylor B, Mathers J, Atfield T, Parry J. What are the challenges to the Big Society in maintaining lay involvement in health improvement, and how can they be met? J Public Health 2011;33(1):5-10


Taylor B, Cross-Sudworth F, MacArthur C.  Midwife continuity survey findings Birmingham: University of Birmingham; 2018

Taylor, B. & Newall, D. Maternity, morality and migration: the impact of new communities Birmingham: WMSMP; 2008 



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