Rachel is a Senior Health Services Researcher in the NPEU; her research interests include intrapartum care, the organisation of maternity care and women's experience of care, with a particular focus on midwifery-led settings. Her DPhil on transfer from midwifery unit to obstetric unit during labour was funded by a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Researcher Development Award, and carried out alongside the Birthplace prospective cohort study, which evaluated the safety of birth in different settings. After receiving her doctorate she managed a programme of further analyses of the Birthplace data and Listening to Parents, a national survey of the maternity care experience of women who have had a stillborn baby or a baby who has died as a newborn.
Funded by an NIHR Post Doctoral Fellowship from 2015-18, Rachel set up and now leads the UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS), a national research infrastructure for carrying out observational studies and surveys of practice in midwifery units. She is a co-investigator for the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Maternal and Neonatal Health and Care and Chief Investigator for Listen2Baby, a three year NIHR-funded study aiming to improve the way that midwives monitor fetal wellbeing during labour.