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International Day of the Midwife 2023 - from evidence to reality

Dr Frazer Underwood with midwives and researchers in the run up to International Day of the Midwife 2023

This year’s theme for International Day of the Midwife focuses on the efforts of midwives and their associations to implement evidence and make meaningful change for their profession and the women and families they care for.

In the run up to IDM 2023 Dr Frazer Underwood, NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula (CRN SWP) Chief Nursing Officer for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professions, met some of the research active midwives from across the region.

Implementing evidence into practice

Frazer met up with Safeguarding Midwife in Cornwall Holly Streeter and Professor of Maternal and Family Health, Jill Shawe. Holly is one of Cornwall’s Chief Nurse’s Research Fellows, seconded for a year to the South West Clinical School in Cornwall for one day a fortnight to undertake a research development programme, supported by the CRN SWP. The programme supports Fellows to develop and implement evidence-informed projects, gain exposure and experience of research delivery and receive mentorship to progress their future research ambitions.

Holly is exploring with families who experience neurodiversity the evidence on how their encounters with maternity care can be improved (read more at Jill is Co-Director of the Clinical School and the fellowship programme and is Holly’s mentor.

Generating the evidence for practice

Frazer also met Ruth Bowen, Research Delivery Midwife from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to hear more about her role delivering research trials across maternity services. Ruth, like many Research Delivery Midwives across the region, is involved in overseeing and supporting the safe and effective delivery of multiple research trials including: iHOLDS, a randomised trial looking at which is the best dose of Syntocinon to give at induction of labour; SNAP3, a randomised trial aiming to identify the best way to help women stop smoking during pregnancy; and Giant Panda, a study that compares the treatment of two commonly used antihypertensive drugs women take to control pregnancy related high blood pressure.

Frazer said: “We should all be celebrating all our midwives who are engaged and active in knowledge generation, research delivery and evidence implementation across our region. Meeting Jill, Ruth and Holly, this last week has been inspirational and listening to their stories just shows the breadth of opportunities on offer for midwives to get involved in research.”

Explore the NIHR's Your Path in Research pages to find out how to make research part of your career: