Debbie is an Emeritus Professor of Nursing and Midwifery at University of Birmingham. She is a Guest Professor for HUST University, Wuhan, China. Her research interests include maternal health, particularly perinatal mental health and organisation development of clinical academic roles. She recently led on the transformation of perinatal mental health services within Birmingham and Solihull. Debbie has research expertise in mixed methodologies including the development and execution of randomised controlled trials and creative qualitative methods including poetic narrative story telling. She has a strong profile for the attainment of NIHR funding and a growing number of high-quality publications.
Jacque Gerrard is the former Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Director for England now working freelance in a midwife consultancy capacity. She led on the RCM’s professional agenda and the Maternity Transformation Programme at RCM. Jacque has 40 years of nursing and midwifery experience as a clinician, manager and professional leader. Jacque is a patron of Mummy’s Star, a charity supporting pregnancy in cancer, and she is the Patron of the Sheffield charity Forging Families. She is an ambassador for the Mariposa Trust “Saying Goodbye” and a Trustee for the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust. She is also a member of the BJM editorial board.
Following ten years as an airline stewardess I quite literally changed course and trained to be a midwife at Coventry University in 1999, becoming a rotational midwife at George Eliot Maternity Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. I joined The University of Northampton as a Practice Educator in 2006, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2008. I was appointed Faculty Lead for Interprofessional Education in 2018 and now also co-ordinate a ‘collaborative interprofessional curriculum’ for 14 Health, Education and Social Care pre-registration programmes. In my spare time I am a Deputy Registrar of Marriages and have had a monthly Education column in the BJM for 4 years.
Dr Laura Abbott is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at The University of Hertfordshire and a Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives. Laura’s doctorate examined the experiences of pregnant women in prison: The Incarcerated Pregnancy: An Ethnographic Study of Perinatal Women in English Prisons. Laura volunteers with the charity Birth Companions and co-authored The Birth Charter for pregnant women in England and Wales published by Birth Companions in May 2016. Laura hopes to continue to highlight the issues facing women, campaigning for the recommendations arising from her research to be actioned, meaning change on the ground for pregnant women and new mothers in prison.
Helen Howlett is employed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a Senior Research Nurse and Midwife, and NIHR 70@70 Nurse and Midwife Research Leader. Helen is part of a network of FASD champions who research, educate and raise awareness around the potential risks of alcohol in pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) with the objective of changing practice and improving patient outcomes. FASD children, adults, birth mothers and carers inform her work. Helen is nearing completion of her PhD entitled ‘Exploring the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of antenatal alcohol screening to clinicians, pregnant women and their partners.’
Dr Sally Pezaro is a lecturer in health research, and an editorial board member of the British Journal of Midwifery and the International Journal of Childbirth. She is also a member of the Mary Seacole Awards steering group funded by Health Education England and ‘The Academic Midwife’ on Facebook. Sally has experience working as a midwife clinically in the United Kingdom, the Gambia and Ethiopia. Reflecting on her own experiences, Sally has developed a passion for supporting the psychological wellbeing of health care professionals. Throughout her PhD work, Sally secured the case for developing an online intervention, designed to primarily support midwives in work-related psychological distress. The overriding vision for Sally’s ongoing research is to secure a psychologically safe professional journey for midwives and excellence in maternity care. Her latest work focuses upon improving maternity care for women with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) in particular. Follow her on Twitter (@SallyPezaro).
Pete is the founder and CEO of the charity Mummy’s Star, set up in 2013 in memory of his wife Mair, to offer support to women diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy or within 12 months of having a baby. He is passionate about ensuring that women are given all the normal choices in pregnancy that they would have without their diagnosis and works with hospitals and cancer centres nationwide to help improve knowledge about this area, sharing case studies and the various examples of good practice that help the families they support on a day to day basis. He also works to raise awareness of men’s/father’s mental health, especially in a setting of caring for a sick partner or in loss and to try and break down societal presumptions about fathers.