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Staff hear from experts in women’s health research at London event

Staff working in women’s health research across north London were recently invited to a special event organised by the local Research Champions for Reproductive Health and Childbirth research.

The event, called Women’s Health Research: Thinking outside the box, took place in June at St Mary’s Hospital in London, and was an opportunity to hear from experts in the field.

Opening the event was Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London, and Women's Health Ambassador for England, who shared her perspective on the importance of the Women’s Health Strategy for England.

Dr Laura Abbott, Associate Professor in Research at the University of Hertfordshire, followed with her experience of researching pregnancy in prison.

Next up was Rachel Ibikunle, a research midwife and PhD student. Rachel shared details of her recently completed Masters dissertation, titled ‘A systematic review on racism and maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity in high-income countries’.

This was followed by Louis Palmer, Akeela Mohammed and Yvonne Wray. Louis is a Clinical Research Officer at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, as well as Ethnic Minority Research Inclusion (EMRI) Hub Lead for South Yorkshire. Akeela is a Research Champion for Healthy Her in Doncaster. Yvonne is CEO of a charity called Action Collective. Together they shared details of projects that are aiming to improve ethnic minority research inclusion in South Yorkshire.

India Rakusen, a journalist and documentary producer, rounded off the speaker presentations with her insights on the menstrual cycle, as explored in the BBC Radio 4 podcast 28ish Days Later.

A panel of the speakers then assembled to answer questions, prompting interesting discussions before the event closed.

This event feeds into the overall aims of the Research Champions — to deliver research that benefits patients, fosters collaborative learning and provides learning and professional development opportunities.

"We’ve received positive feedback from those who attended and look forward to organising similar events in the future."

There are four Research Champions for Reproductive Health and Childbirth research in north London. Michelle Anderson and Sandra Essien work in the areas covered by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) North Thames. Amy Barker and Sara Barnett work in the areas covered by the CRN North West London. They said in a joint statement: "We were thrilled to welcome our colleagues to this special event, and to be able to offer such an interesting agenda with experienced and insightful speakers.

"We’ve received positive feedback from those who attended and look forward to organising similar events in the future.

"Many thanks again to all of our speakers for giving their time and expertise. And thanks to all our colleagues across the region who could attend and contribute to the interesting discussions."

Some of the presentations during the event were recorded. To request access, or if you have any other queries about the event, please contact Amy Barker.