Current CRNME Studentships

Babies Removed at Birth: Narratives of Mothers and Midwives

Wendy Marsh
CRNME PhD Student (Midwifery)

I am delighted to be undertaking my doctoral research at the University of Surrey. I have a midwifery background and specialise in safeguarding and child protection and have worked with vulnerable women and families throughout my career. My interest in the topic of “babies removed at birth” has arisen from personal experience in midwifery practice and reflecting on the care I have given to many women who experienced having their baby removed at birth. My research area is focused upon the psychological and emotional needs of women, whose babies are removed at birth and that of the midwives that provide care for them. The overarching aim of the study is to explore what women perceived their experience to be and ultimately “what was missing” to help support them. It will also explore midwives perceptions and experiences of engaging with child protection work and the emotional and physical consequences to them of doing so. Despite the growing numbers of babies being removed at birth here in the UK, the impact of this intervention upon the women who birth them and that of the midwives who provide care for them remains unclear and therefore research in this area is very much needed. It is anticipated that this study will raise awareness through which current care can be assessed, challenged and in turn best practice, education & training developed and promoted, so that Midwives may learn and add to their own knowledge base in this area. I am currently in my data analysis phase and look forward to reporting on my findings.



Hydration in Older People Living in the Community

Sheila Muller
CRNME PhD Student (Older People)

The ageing population continues to increase in the UK  and there is a continuing decline in health and independence as people become older. Maintenance of hydration is a key challenge for older people. Risk factors for dehydration are influenced by physical, social and economic factors and age-related illnesses. Costs to the health services from the effects of dehydration on older people are also considerable. The benefits of good hydration are not widely discussed, but include cognitive improvements, falls prevention, and improvements in blood pressure. The aim of this study is therefore to reach a greater understanding of the reasons for, and impact of dehydration in older people’s lives, and develop a sustainable health promotion educational intervention to seek solutions to the known problem of dehydration in older people living in the community.



Sarah Bolger
CRNME PhD Student 

Healthcare complaints have historically struggled to be accepted by the NHS and similar healthcare providers worldwide. In the UK this situation was forced into the public view with the publication of the Francis Inquiry report.

This report uncovered high levels of patient mortality and low standards of care that were linked with poor organisational attitudes towards patients as individuals. In particularly the high numbers of patient complaints indicating patient safety concerns were ignored to the detriment of patient care.

Since then there have been many calls by government, patient organisations and sometimes healthcare trusts themselves, for healthcare providers to learn from patient complaints.

How healthcare providers demonstrate organisational learning from complaints is the focus of my PhD. A systematic review protocol has been accepted by PROSPERO and can be accessed at “Systematic review protocol: how healthcare organisations are demonstrating organisational learning from complaints”.

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