Sara Kenyon


1988 …2024

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Research interests

Research interests

Professor Sara Kenyon is a midwife by background and a maternity researcher and policy maker. She currently leads a varied programme of applied health research.

This includes leading the maternity theme of the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) in the West Midlands 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. More details can be found on the NIHR ARC Theme 4: Maternity Services website.

As part of the work undertaken by the ARC Maternity Theme Professor Kenyon has co- developed (with Dr Nina Johns) the Birmingham Symptom specific Obstetric Triage System (BSOTS). BSOTS includes a prompt and brief (takes about 5 minutes) assessment (triage) of the women within 15 minutes of on presentation, and then a standardised way of determining the clinical urgency in which they need to be seen using a four category scale.  The maternity triage system is now recommended in England and over 80 maternity units have implemented the system. More information can be found on the  BSOTS Public Page

With Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sara has also led the development of advice for telephone triage to standardise which women should attend.

Professor Kenyon is the Chief Investigator for the iHOLDS trial (High or Low Dose Syntocinon for induction of labour) which is funded by the NIHR HTA. This multicentre trial will provide robust evidence about the optimal dose regimen of Syntocinon (oxytocin) for nulliparous women for whom it is prescribed as part on the induction of labour process with confirmed delay in the first stage of labour.

Professor Kenyon’s national roles include being part of the MBRRACE collaboration since 2011, investigating maternal deaths, stillbirths and infant deaths, including the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Perinatal Deaths. She is involved in both the maternal confidential enquiry and co-chairs the perinatal confidential enquiries.

She is part of the collaboration  funded by HQIP in 2017 on behalf of DH (England), NHS Wales and Scottish Government to develop and establish a national standardised Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT). The PMRT is used by all UK Trusts and has been designed with user and parent involvement to support high quality standardised perinatal reviews on the principle of 'review once, review well'.

Professor Kenyon is co-applicant on a number of other studies

•           Involving parents and staff in learning from child deaths.

Funded by Research for Patient Benefit this study, led by Dr Jo Garstang, will use co-design methods to develop a range of materials to support parents’ involvement in child death review

•           Listen2Baby

Listen2Baby is three-year programme, funded by the NIHR, which is aiming to improve the way that midwives monitor the fetal heart for women who are having an uncomplicated labour. The programme is being led by Associate Professor Rachel Rowe from National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford.


Professor Kenyon regularly speaks at conferences and has published widely. She sits on a number of trial steering committees and until recently was the Deputy Chair of the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship Scheme Panel.

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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