Posts By / sueway

Successful Away Day for the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health

CMMPH held its annual away day on the 12th December and was led by the Centre leads, Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Susan Way. It is an opportunity for BU staff, PGR students and Visiting Faculty to come together and share their research development and impact over the previous year. Time is also given to thinking ahead to ensure the Centre is meeting its aims of promoting the health and wellbeing of women, babies and their families by enhancing practice through education, research and scholarship.

The morning started with an update about EDGE, an NHS IT platform that provides a governance framework for tracking NHS research studies. Doctoral students whose studies require NHS ethics approval will have their research tracked through this system. Other discussions included an update on REF and BU2025, developing a publications strategy and match-funded PhD studentships.


Luisa Cescutti-Butler                            Malika Felton

Several PGR students presented their work to date, ranging from rising caesarean section rates in hospitals in Nepal (Sulochana Dhakal working towards Probationary Review); acute and chronic effects of slow and deep breathing upon women who have pregnancy-induced hypertension (Malika Felton working towards Major Review); updating the understanding perineal practice at the time of birth by midwives (Sara Stride working towards Probationary Review) and women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies (Dr Luisa Cescutti-Butler recently awarded doctorate). The presentations were all excellent and produced a lot of questions and discussion. Well done to all those who presented.


Sulochana Dhakal                                                 Sara Stride

The afternoon was used as an opportunity to think ahead about future collaborative research, how this fits in with the Centre aims and objectives as well as meeting the university’s ambitions to be a world class organisation.

The day was really enjoyable with a lot of positive feedback.


Edwin and Sue

The challenges and opportunities in grading clinical practice

Dr Susan Way (CMMPH) and four other collaborating UK universities (Plymouth, Greenwich, Suffolk and Anglia Ruskin) have been researching grading of practice in pre-registration midwifery education. The report is now published and can be viewed via this link

The research, ‘National Grading of Practice in Pre-registration Midwifery Project’ was undertaken on behalf of the Lead Midwife for Education UK Executive – a group of experienced midwives representing the Approved Education Institutions in the UK which deliver midwifery programmes leading to Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration. The project sought to identify and remedy some of the variations in grading clinical practice in pre-qualifying midwifery programmes across the UK. The project was set up in such a way that it will have resonance with a variety of healthcare programmes, and the suggested framework and rubrics that were developed have the potential to be transferable.

The research comprised of three phases:

Phase one: scoping study – Fisher M., Bower H., Chenery-Morris S., Jackson J. and Way S., 2017. A scoping study to explore the application and impact of grading practice in pre-registration midwifery programmes across the United Kingdom, Nurse Education in Practice

Phase two: development of core principles – Fisher M., Way S., Chenery-Morris S., Jackson J. and Bower H. 2017 Core principles to reduce current variations that exist in grading of midwifery practice in the United Kingdom, Nurse Education in Practice.

Phase three: developing a set of generic grading criteria (article in progress).

The research team are currently in the process of developing a Practice Assessment Toolkit, drawing from the findings from this study. On completion the toolkit will be uploaded onto the project website.

Midwifery lecturer Sara Stride and Associate Professor Susan Way deliver key note speech at the University of Ljubljana

Sara Stride ( Midwifery Lecturer Practitioner) and Associate Professor Susan Way from FHSS, travelled from the UK on the 18th April for a 5 day visit to the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The trip was funded through Seedcorn (Bournemouth University) and ERASMUS teaching mobility fund (British Council) to extend research and education collaboration between the two Universities.

We received a warm welcome from the Head of Midwifery Education, Dr. Polona Misvek who had helped to arrange our visit. Polona has previously visited Bournemouth University and has co-authored a number of papers with Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen.

The Seedcorn funding enabled Sara to provide a key note lecture to an audience which included midwives, student midwives and midwifery lecturers. In attendance was also the CEO of the Nurses and Midwives Association of Slovenia, Anita Prelec. The lecture related to a recent project funded by the Wellbeing of Women charity where Sara was the Principle Investigator. Other team collaborators were Professor Vanora Hundley, Associate Professor Susan Way and Dr Zoe Shepherd. The topic was entitled, ‘Updating the Understanding of Perineal Practice at the time of birth (UUPP Study)’. It was well received and generated many questions.

We have also been able to agree with the support of Polona Misvek and Anita Prelec to repeat the survey element of the research with midwives in Slovenia.

For further details regarding the teaching mobility aspect of the visit please visit the HSS Blog.

(L-R) Sara Stride, Anta Prelec and Susan Way


Audience Invitation to Key Note Speech

Centre for Midwifery, Maternity and Perinatal Health (CMMPH) represented at the 5th European Midwives Association Education Conference


The CMMPH was well represented at the above international conference highlighting innovations in education, practice and regulation. The conference was held this year in London and attended by HRH The Princess Royal. Presentations from CMMPH colleagues ranged from developing a common framework for assessing practice and innovative on-line education approaches, to dignity and care in pregnancy and childbirth and how evidence is utilised in practice.

Presentations (oral and poster) include:

  1. i) Grading Practice: A common framework to aid consistency and parity across midwifery education programmes in the UK, Fisher M and Way S
  2. ii) Dignity and care in pregnancy and childbirth: Educating student midwives, Hall J and Mitchell M I
  3. ii) The BRIEF randomised trial: do Cochrane summaries help midwifery students understand the findings of Cochrane systematic reviews? Alderdice, F and Hundley, V
  4. iv) UUPP study: Updating the understanding of perineal practice at the time of birth across the UK, Stride, S, Hundley, V, and Way, S.
  5. v) Promoting physiological birth in Malta: reflection on an educational project. Poster, Hall J and with three midwifery colleagues from Mater Dei Hospital, Malta
  6. vi) Not just ticking the boxes: online practice assessment in midwifery. Poster, Angell, C. Wilkins, C., Leamon, J. and Way, S.

Other research that is currently ongoing at BU, but was highlighted at the conference was the Interim report of the Human Rights & Dignity Experience of Disabled Women during Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting. Hall, J., Collins, B., Ireland, J. and Hundley, V.



The photo is of (L-R) Jenny Hall, Sara Stride, Sue Way, Carol Wilkins, Catherine Angell and Vanora Hundley.

NETNEP 6th International Nurse Education Conference, Brisbane

Four academics, Dr Susan Way, Dr Vanessa Heaslip, Ashley Spriggs and Dr Dawn Morley, from FHSS are presenting papers at the Nurse Education Today / Nurse Education in Practice Conference this week, 3rd – 6th April, in Brisbane. The conference is recognised as a leading nurse education event where cutting edge research and innovation ideas from across the world are disseminated. This year the conference has been expanded for the first time to include Midwifery Education.

The title of Dr Susan Way’s presentation is, ‘Leading with a SMiLE: Exploring a student-led clinic, practice education model for educational impact and service improvement’. The Student Midwives integrated Learning Environment (SMiLE) offers an alternative, reliable and collaborative student-led clinic practice education model for equipping midwives of the future with the knowledge, skills and competencies they will need to provide safe and effective postnatal care, to mothers, babies and their families. Early service evaluation of the clinic suggests that students found it benefitted their learning, built their confidence and gave them opportunities to develop their postnatal skills. Peer learning and teamworking relationships were also improved.

Dr Vanessa Heaslip and Ashley Spriggs present their collaborative study entitled “humanising the interview process”; an evaluation of service user/carers contribution to value based recruitment in a pre-registration adult nursing programme. The mixed-method evaluation analysed the perspectives of differing stakeholders (Candidates, SU/Carers, Academics and Practice Partners) regarding the role SU/Carer engagement in Adult Nursing Pre-registration interviews. Early findings from candidates have highlighted they value the involvement of SU/Carers in the interview process, SU/Carers add a “human dimension” ensuring a focus on the heart of nursing and its value base rather than the role of nursing and associated nursing tasks.

Dr Dawn Morley’s presentation focuses on the ‘ebb and flow model of mentoring students in practice’. Twenty one first year student nurses interviewed were insightful as to how their practice learning experience could be improved on their first placement.

The findings of her research highlighted the importance of consistently working with an expert who could encapsulate the “whole” of professional practice but who could also question and coach students through their learning experiences. The research suggested that this was best achieved through an “ebb and flow” model of mentorship where student and mentor were constantly negotiating short term learning goals and opportunities together that accommodated the challenge of workforce demands. By working and learning in this organic manner students were party to the professional decision making and observation of qualified nurses and were educated to a critical decision making level from the earliest opportunity in their clinical practice.

Professor Steve Tees, Executive Dean of the Faculty was also at the Conference in his capacity as one of the Editors of Nurse Education Today journal.

Supporting Breastfeeding: it takes a whole community

In collaboration with the Anglo European Chiropractic College (AECC), the School of Health and Social Care hosted a conference on Saturday 12 July to raise awareness of the joint chiropractic, midwifery newborn feeding clinic. The conference was able to take place due to the successful Centre for Excellence in Learning Fusion Funding bid submitted by the project team, Dr Susan Way, Alison Taylor and Dr Joyce Miller. The day was attended by health care professionals from across the locality as well as student midwives, chiropractic students and members of the public who are passionate about supporting mothers to breastfeed successfully. The day started with an excellent presentation from the key note speaker Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London and author of the world renowned book ‘What every parent needs to know’. Dr Sunderland tested our assumptions about the neuroscience and psychology of baby bonding.

Dr Joyce Miller, Senior Clinical Tutor, Chiropractic Paediatrics and Alison Taylor, Senior Lecturer Midwifery then shared with the audience the chiropractic and midwifery perspective of the innovative approach to supporting the breastfeeding mother / infant pair through the newborn clinic run at AECC. The talk was ably support by two students recounting their experience of being involved in the clinic and the unique learning opportunities it has afforded them to work in partnership with women in a real time practice environment. The interprofessional environment also offers an invaluable opportunity to work alongside different health professionals who would not normally come together.

Alison presented the final talk entitled, ‘letting off steam: video diaries to share breastfeeding experiences’, which was based on the continuing analysis of her doctoral data. This was warmly received and generated a number of questions requiring health professionals to reflect on and challenge their current practice.

The final session of the day was a workshop in the style of a World Café ( asking the audience to come together in smaller groups to explore a number of questions that could enable a community to support women to successfully breastfeed. By listening together, debating questions that mattered and connecting diverse perspective, the workshop generated much energy, noise, laughter and understanding of each other’s role.

Feedback from the day included:

“More than exceeded my expectations- such a wonderful buzz of enthusiasm, so good to be with such passionate people from different specialities lots of new information. Loved workshop” and “Really enjoyed the day. Excellent presentations and lots of interesting discussions. Impressed with the students giving presentations and facilitating”.

An excellent day was had by all and there was much confidence from the organisers that the newborn clinic will meet the needs of women and continue to be a successful enterprise.

For further information about the clinic please contact or