Sara Kenyon


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Sara Kenyon is a maternity researcher (midwife by background) and national policy maker with a proven track record of successful funding and delivery of clinical trials. She currently has two Cochrane reviews in progress (one on antibiotics for preterm rupture of the membranes and one on high versus low dose oxytocin for delay in labour for nulliparous women at term). She has developed strong links with the local maternity hospital (Birmingham Women’s Hospital) and is developing a number of other trials from the areas identified by the clinicians as being of concern. She has spoken widely on antibiotics for preterm labour, intrapartum care and labour dystocia. Sara is interested in supervising doctoral research students in intrapartum care and methods to improve outcomes for women with identified social risk.

1988 …2022

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Personal profile

Research interests

A maternity researcher and national policy maker with a proven track record of successful funding and delivery of clinical trials. Strong communication skills, an ability to analyse complex situations quickly and effectively, and a track record of innovation as demonstrated by achievements. 

Currently working on the NIHR Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) in the West Midlands and leading the Maternity component of the Maternity and Child Health Theme. Developed strong collaborations with the local maternity Trusts (Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Heart of England Foundation Trust) where there is involvement in service change at every level, from evaluating services in existence to developing and evaluating new services and translating evidence into practice. Methodologies employed ensure the most robust possible design and are tailored to the topic concerned and the timelines required. 

Chief Investigator for the High or Low Dose Syntocinon Trial (HOLDS) funded by the HTA in Autumn 2015. This multicentre, pragmatic, randomised, double blind controlled trial will recruit 1500 women from 30 Maternity units to evaluate the effect on CS rate of high dose regimen versus standard dose regimen oxytocin for nulliparous women at term (37-42 weeks gestation) with confirmed delay in the first stage of labour using NICE definitions. 

Member of the 'MBRRACE-UK' collaboration appointed by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to continue the national programme of work investigating maternal deaths, stillbirths and infant deaths, including the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMD). Also a collaborator on the Perinatal Mortality Review Toolkit (PMRT) group leading the development of standardised review of perinatal death review in the UK.Member of the Wellbeing of Women Research Advisory Committee and Member of the HTA Topic Identification, Development and Evaluation (TIDE) panel for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health. 

Previously Chief Investigator for ORACLE Children Study. Successful completion of follow-up study of over 8,000 children whose mothers joined the ORACLE Trial. This has included leading a team of co-applicants and office staff, and innovative collection of data on educational attainment, achieving a response rate of over 70% and publication in the Lancet. Previously lead the NICE Intrapartum Care Guideline published 2007 and Group lead for the RCOG Intrapartum Clinical Study Group until autumn 2015. 

Strong desire to involve participants in research and demonstrated ability to combine both quantitative and qualitative research. Founding member and Chair of Antenatal Results and Choices, offering information and support to women regarding antenatal screening – now established for over 20 years.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

1 Nov 2015 → …


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