University of Birmingham Professor receives national midwifery honour
A University of Birmingham Professor has received a national award from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for her contribution to midwifery.
Sara Kenyon, Professor of Evidence Based Maternity Care at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, has received a prestigious RCM Fellowship. This is an honour given to just a handful of midwives each year.
Professor Kenyon qualified as a midwife in 1982 and has been a trailblazer throughout her career. She was among the very first midwives in the UK to perform ultrasounds scans of women in pregnancy, and helped develop a scanning course for midwives.
She was involved in the beginnings of the support group ‘Antenatal Results and Choices’ and then went on to lead the ORACLE trial and Children Study which has transformed antibiotic use in preterm birth.
Professor Kenyon leads a West Midlands-based project, which has developed a maternity triage system and training for midwives to standardise their discussion with women about where they want to give birth. She is also leading research looking at the use of the drug Oxytocin in delayed and induced labour and links to caesarean section rates.
She is a midwife on 'MBRRACE-UK', a group investigating maternal and infant deaths and stillbirths. This is a project that reviews all deaths of mothers and babies around pregnancy and makes recommendations to reduce them. She is also involved in the Perinatal Mortality Review Tool which is working to standardise how the deaths of babies during and after pregnancy are reviewed. She co-chairs the Perinatal Confidential Enquiries.
Professor Kenyon is passionate about supporting midwives to undertake research and she is also Deputy Chair of the Health Education England and National Institute of Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Programme Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship Scheme Panel. This is an initiative that supports midwives who want to stay in clinical practice and also undertake research.
The Fellowship recognises Professor Kenyon’s contributions as a midwife in many areas of maternity care. After qualifying, she focused her career on research challenging the more traditional career path for midwives. She has worked in research for the last 25 years, and is now a Professor of Evidence Based Maternity Care at the University of Birmingham.
Professor Kenyon said: “I have always been passionate about midwifery, research and in improving care for mothers and babies. So to have been recognised as a Fellow of the RCM really means a huge amount to me.”
Professor KK Cheng, Director of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Applied Health Research, said: "It is a wonderful accolade for Sara to be honoured by her peers for her major contribution to midwifery. With her pioneering work she has developed a whole new pathway others will follow, highlighting best practice and transforming the field of maternal care."
Katherine Gutteridge, President of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The Royal College of Midwives is delighted to award this Fellowship to Sara. Her contribution to midwifery has been enormous and work has been of incalculable importance. Without a doubt she has helped to save the lives of mothers and babies. She is a worthy recipient of this Fellowship and I congratulate her heartily on this achievement.”
Professor Kenyon’s award of the RCM Fellowship was announced at the Royal College of Midwives Education Conference in Bath.
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