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Sharpening our Maternity and Neonatal research focus

2024-05-03T14:45:32+01:00Friday 3 May 2024|

A research champion is working to maximise opportunities for staff and patients across the Black Country’s Maternity and Neonatal Services to be part of potentially life-changing trials and studies.

Jo Wright, who is Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, has taken on the role of System Research Lead for the Black Country Local Maternity and Neonatal System (BCLMNS). Ahead of International Day of the Midwife this Sunday 5 May she wants to highlight the plans being worked through to sharpen the focus on this area of health as research-active Midwives will be vital to its success.

Her vision is to create a system-wide approach to research, supported by Consultant Midwives, drawing on the rich diversity of communities using services at Walsall Healthcare, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust that are all part of the BCLMNS.

Jo, who has worked in Walsall since 2021, as well as across London, Birmingham and Sandwell, said: “We are better together and I want to see our combined expertise and enthusiasm come together to create a research strategy across the whole Black Country in Maternity and Neonatal specifically.

“I am extremely passionate about the possibilities and describe myself as “a research lover, not an expert.” There is so much we can achieve I’m sure. Each of our areas can offer different perspectives that can collectively ensure wider representation of our diverse communities and a greater chance of tackling the issues that our patients who use Maternity and Neonatal Services face.”

Jo said one area in particular she’d be keen to see a focus on is Perinatal Mortality as the West Midlands continues to have the highest infant mortality rate in the UK.

“We need to look at the social, economic and financial determinants as well as the physical health and wellbeing aspects and encouraging research on this scale in the system has the potential to be life-changing for our families,” she said.

“We’re in the early stages but work will now focus on creating this system-wide approach. The Black Country prides itself on innovation and determination and I look forward to colleagues coming on board over the next few months.”

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