Professor Melaine Coward

Head of the School of Health Sciences
+44 (0)1483 682507
33 HSM 01
Carolina Garcia Ochoa
+44 (0)1483 688510


Areas of specialism

Reflective practice

University roles and responsibilities

  • Head of the School of Health Sciences



    Research interests

    My teaching

    My publications


    Peer reviewed publications

    2018 Coward, M. and Rhodes, A. Reflecting for patient care improvement. Nursing Management, Accepted for publication, July 2018.

    2018, Coward, M. Reflection and personal learning.  Nursing Management, Published, July 2018.

    2018 Coward, M. Encouraging reflection in professional learning.  Nursing Management. Published, June 2018. 

    2018 Coward, M. A Case Study to Explore Nurse Educators Approaches to Teaching Reflection. Submitted March 2018 to Nurse Education Today: under review.

    2017 Coward, M.  An enquiry into nurse educators’ beliefs, understandings and approaches to teaching the concepts of reflection to adult student nurses in UK Higher Education Institutes.  Thesis submitted for Doctor of Education, awarded by Kingston University, Available at:

    2017 Bolger, S., Rhodes, A. and Coward, M. Impact of a maternal sepsis training package on maternity staff compliance with Trust guidelines. British Journal of Midwifery, 25 (2): 116-121

    2016 Coward, M., Crombie, A., Joy, M., Ream, E., Tremblay, M. and Wilson, P.  Primary Care Strategic Workforce Planning Programme. Researchgate, Available at:

    2011 Coward, M. Does the Use of Reflective Models restrict critical thinking and therefore learning in nurse education. What have we done? Nurse Education Today, 31: 883–886

    Book chapters

    2018 Coward, M. and Rhodes, A. Utilising Interprofessional learning to engender employability IN Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning, Morley, D. (ED).  London: Palgrave Macmillan.


    Introduction Women with diabetes are at increased risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Preconception care can minimise risk of complications and improve outcomes, but current provision is inadequate. Mobile technology, particularly smartphone apps, could improve preconception care provision but research is lacking in this area. Aim The study aimed to critically appraise the literature with respect to PCC educational interventions and highlight limitations of current interventions, and to develop a Preconception and Diabetes Information (PADI) app for women with type 1 or 2 diabetes and explore the system’s feasibility and acceptability. Methods A systematic review of the literature and a 2-phase mixed methods study design, (1) development and (2) feasibility and acceptability, were used. The app was developed via a co-design approach with women with diabetes, healthcare professionals and an app development company. A 3-month pre- and post-intervention study assessed preliminary outcome estimates (preconception care knowledge, attitudes and behaviours), user acceptability was also explored. Data collection methods included focus groups, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Results The systematic review showed that PCC educational interventions had a positive effect on patient and behavioural outcomes, however, PCC uptake was low and the use of eHealth for PCC of women with DM was still in its infancy. The 2-phase mixed methods study design indicated a high level of enthusiasm and interest towards a preconception care app that could overcome shortfalls in current preconception care service provision. Improvements were recorded in knowledge of pregnancy planning and pregnancy-related risks, perceived benefits and self-efficacy to seek preconception care, and patient activation measure, following the 3-month app usage. Participants found the PADI app acceptable (satisfaction rating was 72%), useful and informative. Usage was episodic and influenced by functionality (manual data input) and personal factors (pregnancy intention, time/memory and conflicting priorities) that participants felt could be overcome via personalisation, automation, improved interactivity and daily reminders. Conclusion This is the first study to explore the acceptability and feasibility of a preconception care app for women with diabetes. It has positive implications in terms of overcoming barriers to preconception care provision and uptake, and changing preconception behaviours. In order that the contribution of the PADI app can be fully realised, further evaluation is required.
    Judith Edwards, Melaine Coward, Nicola Carey (2020)Paramedic independent prescribing in primary care – seven steps to success, In: Journal of Prescribing Practice MA Healthcare Ltd
    Paramedic practice is evolving and the number of advanced paramedics in primary care roles in the UK has risen dramatically. A significant milestone for the paramedic profession, recent legislation granting paramedics independent prescribing rights means UK paramedics are the first worldwide to receive this extension in scope of practice. Paramedic prescribing capability is expected to increase autonomy for independent case management and enhance capacity for service development. Local and national success is however likely to depend on skilful implementation and the avoidance of historical barriers. This article aims to raise awareness of potential barriers to early adoption of paramedic independent prescribing in primary care. It identifies common pitfalls prior to training and provides seven practical steps for paramedics considering pursuing non-medical prescribing training.