The Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement: Who are we?

The Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement is made up of a team of expert clinicians and researchers from leading universities and clinical centres around the UK, as well as women and their families.

The Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement involves obstetricians, midwives, data analysts and behavioural scientists from leading UK universities and clinical centres, as well as women and their families.

Meet the team

Professor Thilaganathan is a Consultant Obstetrician and Director of Fetal Medicine at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He took on the role of Clinical Director for the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement in March 2020 and brings a wealth of experience, particularly in the areas of placental function, pre-eclampsia and fetal growth. He has experience of developing and implementing innovative tools designed to personalise care and improve pregnancy outcomes.

Professor Sandall is Professor of Social Science and Women’s Health at King’s College London. She is also Head of Midwifery Research at NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I). She has a clinical background in midwifery and an academic background in social science. She has experience in implementation science and collaborative cross-boundary leadership, and her research is focused on the safety and quality of maternity care. She is currently leading the improvement science and evaluation aspect of the work carried out at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Professor Judge is Professor of Translational Statistics at the Bristol NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. He has expertise in medical statistics and in conducting epidemiological research across multiple health conditions using ‘big’ health registry data. He is currently working as Data and Statistical Analysis Lead at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Dr Lenguerrand is a Senior Research Fellow in medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Bristol. He has an interest in health services research, with a focus on improving the safety of maternity services, and is an honorary member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Along with Professor Andrew Judge, he is leading the data science team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Maria Viner is CEO of Mothers for Mothers, a Bristol-based charity that has supported women and their families through maternal mental illness for 40 years. She has two living children; her first son died when he was one day old. Through Mothers for Mothers, she is privileged to speak with and on behalf of a diverse range of women who are currently women’s health service users, and she leads a Patient Advisory Group. She is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Women’s Network and is responsible for patient and public involvement at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Cathy Winter is a senior midwife at North Bristol NHS Trust and lead midwife for the PROMPT Maternity Foundation (PMF), where she works to distribute the PROMPT obstetric emergencies training packages to maternity units around the UK. She has extensive experience in maternity research, and, along with Dr Christy Burden, is leading the practical implementation team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Dr Burden is a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Head of the Academic Women’s Health Unit at the University of Bristol. Her clinical and research interests are in maternal medicine and the management of high-risk pregnancies in women with chronic diseases and gestational diabetes. She has a strong track record in simulation-based medical education and is leading the practical implementation team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, along with Cathy Winter.

Professor Anumba is Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Sheffield and is the Lead Clinician in the Fetal Medicine Unit at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is Vice Chair of the Academic Board of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Within the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, Professor Anumba leads the team who are formulating effective algorithms and clinical interventions that can be used to assess risk and help to prevent preterm birth and stillbirth.

Hannah Wilson is a Senior Research Midwife at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She has expertise in pregnancy hypertension, clinical trial coordination and capacity building within maternity services. She is currently a Project Midwife for the digital development and implementation aspect of the work carried out at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Elaine Sheehan is a Specialist Midwife for maternal medicine and hypertension, working at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Clinical Doctorate Research Fellow at the National Institute for Health Research. Elaine has experience in digital innovation and is currently a Project Midwife for the digital development and implementation aspect of the work carried out at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.

Siobhán Gillespie holds a specialist post in perineal trauma at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where she runs a midwife-led clinic for women who have suffered third- and fourth-degree perineal tears during labour. She worked as a research midwife on many national and local research studies before specialising in Global Health. Siobhán is Project Midwife for the practical implementation team at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement, a role that is underpinned by her passion for evidence-based healthcare and implementing change.

Dr Carter is a Research Midwife at King’s College London. She has extensive experience supporting or leading high-quality clinical trials in maternity care, most recently focusing on preterm birth. She is a founder member of the UK Preterm Clinical Network (PCN) and manages the PCN database, which collects clinical data from preterm birth clinics in a standardised and systematic way for use in larger studies. Her PhD work focussed on risk assessment in threatened preterm labour and the development of the QUIPP app – a clinical tool that helps doctors decide whether further medical help needs to be given to a woman at risk of premature birth. Dr Carter is currently supporting Professor Jane Sandall with the improvement science and evaluation aspect of the work carried out at the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement.