Midwifery Unit Project

Meet the team

The team is multidisciplinary, made up of health professionals, commissioners and academics who will advise the research team and help with dissemination and is highly experienced in undertaking this kind of research.

Project management group

Denis Walsh
Dr Denis Walsh

Denis was born and brought up in Queensland, Australia but trained as a midwife in Leicester, UK and has worked in a variety of midwifery environments over the past 30 years. He is now Associate Professor in Midwifery at The University of Nottingham and his research interests are:

  • normal labour and birth
  • midwifery-led models and midwifery-led units

He has written extensively on midwifery issues in books, book chapters and journal articles.

Dawn Coleby
Dr Dawn Coleby

Upon completion of her PhD in 2004, Dawn worked on a variety of public health projects at the University of Leicester. In June 2014 she accepted the position of Research Fellow at the Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit, and worked on the development of tools to improve the selection of NHS sites for clinical trials. Dawn is now a Senior Research Fellow within the Division of Midwifery at the University of Nottingham and her research interests are

  • mixed methods research
  • midwifery-led units
  • recognition of stroke symptoms

She has co-authored a number of journal articles and is an active reviewer for the RJGP.

Celia Grigg
Dr Celia Grigg

Celia is a midwife from New Zealand. She has spent most of her 20 years as a midwife working in the community, providing continuity of care for women planning a home, freestanding maternity unit or tertiary hospital birth. She recently completed her PhD on a birthplace study in New Zealand, and is now working as a Research Fellow on the Midwifery Units project at The University of Nottingham. Her research interests are:

  • birthplace
  • maternity system organisation
  • continuity of care and women’s experience of birth/maternity care

She has published journal articles, written a midwifery textbook chapter (antenatal care) and is a reviewer for 4 midwifery journals.

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Sheila Adamson
Sheila is research secretary for the project.



  • Dr Simon Bishop, Assistant Professor in Organisational Behaviour, The University of Nottingham
  • Sonia Byers, Research & Development Manager, North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • Professor Lorraine Culley, Emeritus Professor of Social Science & Health, De Montfort University
  • Dr Miranda Dodwell, Founder of BirthChoiceUK
  • Professor Chris McCourt, Professor of Maternal & Child Health, City University, London
  • Lynne Pacanowski, Head of Midwifery, Guys & St Thomas Hospital NHS Trust, London
  • Professor Helen Spiby, Professor of Midwifery, The University of Nottingham
  • Professor Jim Thornton, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, The University of Nottingham
  • Dr Jane Wilkinson, GP Commissioner, Cheshire

Advisory group

  • Birte Harlev-Lam, Head of Maternity and Children's Services Nursing Directorate, NHS England


  • Alison Atkinson, Head of Midwifery, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Dr Dushyant Batra, Neonatologist
  • Beverley Beech, Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS)
  • Susan Bewley, Obstetrician, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
  • George Bugg, Obstetrician, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Jacque Gerrard, Royal College of Midwives
  • Judith Littlejohn, GP commissioner, Tower Hamlets
  • Dave Munday, Health Visitor
  • Professor Stavros Petrou, Professor of Health Economics, University of Warwick
  • Lisa Plotkin, National Federation of Women’s Institutes
  • Melissa Thomas, Service User

Midwifery Unit Research Project

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Division of Midwifery
Floor 12, Tower Block
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0987
email: denis.walsh@nottingham.ac.uk