Dr Ciara Reynolds was awarded a PhD for her thesis on smoking cessation in pregnancy which has resulted in several publications in peer-reviewed international journals. As part of an intervention RCT, Dr Reynolds developed a customised smartapp to help women stop smoking after presentation for antenatal care. Ciara published a number of papers on the adverse impact of persistent smoking in pregnancy and the use of breath carbon monoxide (BCO) testing to identify women who have not disclosed their smoking at the first visit. Publications from her PhD will inform the forthcoming NCEC National Guideline on smoking cessation. Since graduation, Dr Reynolds has been working as a Research Fellow on a number of public health projects such as maternal alcohol consumption, maternal obesity and maternal employment.
Ms Rachel Kennedy completed her PhD on a RCT evaluating a customised smartapp designed to improve the dietary quality of women in early pregnancy. Ms Kennedy has also developed a novel peri-conceptual nutrition score (PENS) to assess dietary intake of micronutrients in early pregnancy. Her research has resulted in several international peer reviewed publications.
Dr Eimer O’Malley was awarded her PhD on evaluating point-of-care maternal glucose and lipid measurements at the end of the second trimester. As part of her PhD, Dr O’Malley examined the relationship between an established panel of ten Biomarkers and the risk of developing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and fetal macrosomia.
Ms Laura Bowes was awarded her MSc in Human Resource Management in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She also continues to provide strong support for the Centre’s research workstreams in addition to her commitments with the teaching programme.
Dr Karen Power and Professor Turner continued their collaboration in developing NCEC Guidelines for the maternity services. The revision of the Irish Maternity Early Warning System (IMEWS) was completed and published in April 2019. This was the first of the NCEC suite of national guidelines to be successfully revised. The IMEWS has generated considerable attention in Norway, Scotland, England and Wales and the United States of America. As part of this work, Dr Catherine O’Regan developed a novel scoring system for the early detection of maternal infection which was published by the European Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Reproductive Biology. Dr Power is also continuing to work on the development of the NCEC Guidelines for risk stratification in pregnancy as recommended in the National Maternity Strategy Report in 2016. This guideline was published in 2020.
Dr Lean McMahon, Project Manager for the Irish Maternity Indicators System (IMIS) and Professor Turner continued their collaboration on this report for hospital performance measurements. This report is produced for individual hospitals, the six networks and nationally and allows each hospital to benchmark themselves nationally and against their own performance in the previous year. This work continues to evolve and improve in association with the HSE National Women and Infants Programme. Particular thanks are due to the individuals from different hospitals nationally who participate actively in the regular workshops.
Dr Aoife Brick from the ESRI Health Division and Professor Turner continued their collaboration. In particular, they investigated whether the rising levels of maternal obesity was contributing to the escalating Caesarean Section rates in Ireland.
Dr Emma Tuthill undertook an observational study was to describe the transition and undergraduate experience of the undergraduate obstetrics and gynaecology programme from a traditional face-to-face approach to a blended learning programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Turner completed his work as Chair of the Department of Health Policy Group on folic acid supplementation and a report revising current recommendations was sent to the Minister for Health. Professor Turner served as Member of the HSE National Guideline on smoking cessation which has been commissioned by the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee. Professor Turner also served as Member of the HIQA Special Purpose Maternity Advisory Group and as a Member of the RCPI Policy Group on Obesity.