Maternal child and family health logo

Maternal, Child and Family Health Research Cluster

Our mission is to integrate research with education and practice to support the delivery of high quality and innovative maternal, child and family health care. Our focus is across the lifespan, across health and illness, taking into consideration physical, mental and psychosocial health.

Our approach

We work with a number of professional groups - from nursing, midwifery, health visiting, psychology, public health, school nursing, and community nursing - alongside health service researchers with expert skills across both qualitative and quantitative research.

Our approach means we can impact positively on the education and professional development of students studying at Surrey, and beyond. We also develop new understandings that shape the physical and mental health care of the mother and her unborn child, the new-born, children, young people, and all family members.

Research interests

In our cluster, one focus is on children’s health, on the well-being of children from conception through adolescence, in the context of their family unit. Children may be born with health problems, or develop a health problem, some of these are preventable: we have a particular focus on cancer, rare and complex diseases, disability (cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, or sensory), child and adolescent mental health and well-being. It should be possible to protect children from accidents or injury: we have a further focus on community health and safety, parenting skills, accident prevention, and safeguarding.

In addition, we also focus on the well-being of the workforce, and its relation to patient care, and the organisation and delivery of healthcare in various physical and mental health settings: studying the organisational climate, job satisfaction, team work, integration of care, staff well-being, and their relationship to staff reported patient care performance. We have a particular interest in ensuring that adults’ and children’s mental and physical health needs are treated equally well.   

Research areas

Our research falls into five main areas:

Research methodologies

  • Creative arts based approaches
  • Participatory research
  • Mixed methods
  • Grounded theory
  • Ethnography
  • Ethnographic case study
  • Phenomenology
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Systematic reviewing (qualitative and quantitative).

Areas of interest for doctoral study

We welcome approaches from people wishing to undertake postgraduate research with us. We particularly welcome enquiries in the following areas:

  • Cancer care, in children, teenagers and young adults
  • Sexual Health
  • Maternal and Infant Health
  • Mental health
  • Mental/physical health interface

Please contact Freda Mold ( and Jenny Harris (, our postgraduate research directors, if you are considering postgraduate research.

Our studies



Cluster leads

Faith Gibson profile image

Professor Faith Gibson

Professor of Child Health and Cancer Care

Elizabeth Barley profile image

Professor Elizabeth Barley

Professor of Mental Health Sciences and Nursing

Cluster team

Anand Ahankari profile image

Dr Anand Ahankari

Lecturer in Maternal, Child and Family Health

Susie Aldiss profile image

Susie Aldiss

Research Fellow (Child Health)

Zoe Bedford profile image

Zoe Bedford

Teaching Fellow

Melissa Benavente

Postgraduate Research Student

Gemma Bryan profile image

Dr Gemma Bryan

Research Fellow

Alison Callwood profile image

Dr Alison Callwood

Senior Lecturer in Integrated Care (Midwifery)

Sarah Clements profile image

Sarah Clements

Senior Lecturer - Children & Young People's Nursing

Helen Cowie profile image

Professor Helen Cowie

Emeritus Professor

Lisa Dennis profile image

Lisa Dennis

Lecturer- Children and Young People's Nursing

Amy Dopson profile image

Amy Dopson

Associate Professor & Head of Department: Continuing Professional Development and Post Graduate Education

Simon Downs profile image

Simon Downs

Paramedic Field Lead & Lecturer (Paramedic Practice)

Bethany Gale

Lecturer (Nursing - Mental Health)

Rebecca Greenacre profile image

Rebecca Greenacre

Lead Midwife for Education, Director of Studies, Teaching Fellow Midwifery

Jordan Harrington-Phillips profile image

Mx Jordan Harrington- Phillips

Lecturer in Child and Young People's Nursing

Jenny Harris profile image

Dr Jenny Harris

Senior Lecturer in Cancer Care and Health Statistics

Sam Harrison profile image

Sam Harrison

Midwifery Teaching Fellow

Deanna Hodge profile image

Deanna Hodge

Teaching Fellow and Lead for Practice Education

Felicity Jones profile image

Felicity Jones

Senior Lecturer in Integrated Care (Population Health), Director of Studies for Specialist Practice

Guldane Kaya profile image

Guldane Damla Kaya

Postgraduate Research Student

Heather Lane profile image

Heather Lane

Lecturer and Pathway Lead for Community Children's Nursing (CCN) SPQ Programme

Sarah Lea profile image

Dr Sarah Lea

Research Fellow

Dr Fiona Mcgregor

Research Fellow

Linda Moore

Teaching fellow

Jennifer Oates profile image

Dr Jennifer Oates

Senior Personal Tutor, Lead for Wellbeing, Senior Teaching Fellow

Zoe Polly profile image

Zoe Polly

Lecturer, Children and Young People's Nursing

Sarah Roberts profile image

Sarah Roberts

Lecturer, Pathway Lead for Health Visiting

Dr Ann Robinson

Senior Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care (Midwifery)

Betul Sanlan profile image

Betul Sanlan

Postgraduate Research Student

Vikki Saravia profile image

Vikki Saravia

Teaching Fellow Integrated Health (Midwifery)

Pippa Sipanoun

Research Fellow

Yvonne Smyth profile image

Yvonne Smyth

Postgraduate Research Student (PhD)

Lyndsay Spencer profile image

Lyndsay Spencer

Postgraduate Research Student

Jaime Sutherland

Midwifery Teaching Fellow

Cath Taylor profile image

Professor Cath Taylor

Professor of Healthcare Workforce Organisation and Wellbeing

Suzie Thorpe profile image

Suzie Thorpe

Midwifery Teaching Fellow (integrated)

Hayley Ward profile image

Hayley Ward

Director of Studies for Healthcare Practice Programme and Leadership in Healthcare Programme

Alison Whitehouse profile image

Ali Whitehouse

Lecturer in Integrated Care (Children's Nursing)