ASPIRE COVID-19 and Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality in the UK and across Europe, it was clear that healthcare provision would have to be adapted according to the developing situation and that this would differ according to variation in infection rates and resources, but also according to local contextual factors such as organisational culture, which would influence the direction and course of change.

UK policy is for safe, personalised maternity and neonatal care. However, considerable changes were made to the provision of maternity and neonatal care over the pandemic, which impacted to varying degrees on the provision of safe and personalised care.


Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care In Response to Epidemics (ASPIRE)


Read More

Project Collaborators (Co-Is)

Research Team

  • Marie-Clare Balaam, University of Central Lancashire
  • Dr Nicola Crossland, University of Central Lancashire
  • Sarah Cordey, University of Central Lancashire
  • Jo Cull
  • Dr Claire Feeley, University of Central Lancashire
  • Lara McNally, University of Central Lancashire
  • Gill Moncrieff
  • Dr Rebecca Nowland, University of Central Lancashire
  • Debs Powney, University of Central Lancashire
  • Arni Sarin
  • Eleanor Smith, University of Central Lancashire
  • Naseerah Akooji, University of Central Lancashire
  • Beata Franso, Amsterdam University Medical Centre
  • Steph Heys
  • Lucy Stone, University of Southampton
  • Lauri van den Berg, Amsterdam University Medical Centre

Advisory Group

  • Rebecca Abe and Tinuke Awe, FivexMore
  • Toyin Adeyinka, MVP BAME Group
  • Ruth Bender-Atik, The Miscarriage Association
  • Lia Brigante, RCM
  • Rebecca Brione, Birthrights
  • Franka Cadée, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
  • Elizabeth Duff, Expert in postnatal care
  • Tim Draycott, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
  • Duncan Fisher, Fathers included/Family included/the Family Initiative
  • Annie Francis, Neighbourhood Midwives
  • Arie Franx, Erasmus MC
  • Lucy Frith, University of Liverpool
  • Louise Griew, National Maternity Voices
  • Clea Harmer, SANDS
  • Caroline Homer, Burnet Institute; Australia
  • Marian Knight, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU)
  • Amali Lokugamage, University College London
  • Amanda Mansfield, London Ambulance Service Trust
  • Neil Marlow, University College London
  • Trixie Mcaree, NHS England
  • David Monteith, Grace in Action
  • Keith Reed, Twins Trust
  • Yana Richens, UCL & City University
  • Lucia Rocca-Ihenacho, Midwifery Unit Network
  • Mary Ross-Davie, RCM Scotland
  • Seana Talbot, BirthWise NI
  • Myles Taylor, British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society
  • Maureen Treadwell, Birth Trauma Association

Steering Group

  • Maria Booker, Birthrights
  • Tisian Lynskey-Wilkie, University of Central Lancashire
  • Jane Sandall, Kings College London
  • Jim Thornton (chair), The University of Nottingham
  • Vanessa Wilson, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Background information

The project included the analysis of national organisational and Trust-level guidance/social media as it was produced over the pandemic; interviews with service users, staff and national organisation representatives; analysis of routinely collected clinical data for key maternal and neonatal outcomes; and analysis of data from the Babies Born Better survey.

Read More

Seven Trusts across England were purposively selected for variation, for example, in terms of demographics of the population and number of births per year.

This multi-method approach enabled the generation and combination of a great deal of qualitative and quantitative data which have been analysed to produce the following outputs. This list will be added to as more outputs are generated.

For more information on the methods and work packages please visit our ASPIRE Covid 19 website.


See below for information on key messages, the ASPIRE conceptual framework, case studies, policy briefs, publications, and datasets.

For all enquiries please contact our ASPIRE Team

Key messages

The project led to the development of ten recommendations.

ASPIRE conceptual framework

The analysis was based on a conceptual framework developed over the course of the project.

Case studies

As a result of the in-depth analysis across seven Trusts, we are in the process of doing a case study of the Trusts. We have already completed two of the case studies and will add more as they are complete.

Policy briefs

The following policy briefs provide an overview of the project and its recommendations.

These resources are designed to be a living space – please use it, and add to it if you have information, insights, or materials that might optimise the way maternity and neonatal care could best be provided, now or in the future, both in times of crisis, and in times when there are less challenges to the health system.

Click here for more maternity and neonatal resources