Success for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences!
The School of Nursing and Health Sciences here at the University of Dundee has had a number of recent successes to celebrate thanks to the work of a team of academics who are committed to improving the health and care of families, babies and childbearing women locally, nationally and internationally.
Last year Professor Mary Renfrew, Dr Alison McFadden, Dr Andrew Symon and Dr Heather Whitford received a special award for an outstanding contribution to Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) research with ‘Mother and Infant Research Unit: The Lancet Series on Midwifery’. The judges felt that the research should be considered the ‘best of its kind’. The aim of the series is to provide decision makers with information regarding the scale and scope of the impact of midwifery in low, middle and high income countries, whilst advising of the conditions necessary to scale it up. The combined findings of all papers involved in the series show that midwifery is imperative to the challenges encountered in ensuring women and infants receive high quality care, improving the experiences of women and also reducing the occurrence of unnecessary interventions.
The evidence discussed in the Lancet Series is being used to inform locally within NHS Tayside and Fife whilst aiding nationally in Warrington and Halton Hospitals. Internationally, the research is providing support for midwifery practice, education and development in the US, India, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and many others.
Dr Alison McFadden explains just how important this work is and continues to be,
‘We are delighted that our work to strengthen the evidence base for midwifery globally has been recognised in this way. The work has been taken up by global agencies, governments, professional organisations and advocacy groups in countries across the world, including Scotland, where it was used to inform the recent review of maternity and neonatal services. It is informing education, standards, policy, and practice in low, middle and high-income countries. ‘
Another notable win comes from the recent decision made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to choose midwifery as a focus area in their Global Strategy for Women, Children and Adolescent Health (GSWCAH). This will include reporting on how midwifery care can be extended to all women and newborns. The decision was largely informed by The Lancet Series on Midwifery and a meeting hosted at Dundee University.
On a separate yet similar note, each year the Cochrane Library, a global source of evidence for healthcare, publishes a list of its most frequented resources. This year, Dr Alison McFadden is featured twice on the ‘Best of the Cochrane Library: 2017 Year in Review’ for her achievements. Alison’s podcast, ‘Support for breastfeeding mothers’ was the second most popular podcast available on the site during 2017. Allison welcomed her second success thanks to a collaborative piece alongside, Professor Mary Renfrew, Dr Stephen MacGillivray and Dr Anna Gavine (photographed above). The work entitled, ‘Support for healthy breastfeeding mothers with healthy term babies’ was listed as the number one most downloaded updated review of 2017.