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About the Centre

  • Established in 2019, the Centre for Reproductive Research & Communication (CRRC) at BPAS exists to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare and choices. Through rigorous multidisciplinary research and impactful communication, the CRRC aims to inform policy, practice, and public discourse. We draw directly on BPAS’ own work as a reproductive health provider to inform our agenda and work in collaboration and through strategic partnerships to achieve our mission.
  • Our research programme is monitored by BPAS Research and Ethics Committee (REC), a sub-committee of the Clinical Governance Committee. The role of the REC is to examine all proposals for research, audits or service evaluation involving clients, or materials derived from clients, which are to be carried out within BPAS units or with BPAS staff, and to ensure that such activities conform to generally accepted ethical principles and standards. The committee also provides advice on ethical issues that affect BPAS. Click here to read BPAS’ Research and Ethics Committee Terms of Reference.
  • BPAS Research and Ethics Committee is a member of the Association of Research and Ethics Committees (AREC) and the National Research and Ethics Service reference group.

Recent Publications 

"Anxious and traumatised": Users' experiences of maternity care in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

Read the full article here.

Read the short research briefing here.

"Client satisfaction and experience of home use of mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion up to 10 weeks’ gestation at British Pregnancy Advisory Service: a cross-sectional evaluation"

Read the full article here.

Read the short research briefing here.

"Risk messages relating to fertility and pregnancy: a media content analysis” 

Read the full article here

Read the short research briefing here.

“Effectiveness, Safety and Acceptability of No-test Medical Abortion via Telemedicine: a National Cohort Study” 

Read the full article here

Read the short research briefing here

Research Team 

Patricia Lohr – BPAS Medical Director and Director of the CRRC

Patricia trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center followed by a Fellowship in Family Planning & Contraceptive Research and Masters Degree in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been Medical Director of British Pregnancy Advisory Service since 2007 and Director of the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication since 2020. Her research interests include quality in abortion care, novel methods of medical abortion service delivery, and cervical preparation for second trimester surgical abortion. She has published a number of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on family planning and has contributed to evidence-based guidance produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, and Society of Family Planning. Patricia serves as an Associate Editor for the journal BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. In addition to service development and research, she has passionate about education in abortion and advises the RCOG and British Society of Abortion Care Providers on training and curricula. She worked with the RCOG to update their advanced skills module in abortion care and is currently overseeing the creation of related e-learning materials.

Patricia Lohr CV

Rebecca Blaylock - Research and Engagement Lead

Rebecca is a multidisciplinary researcher with an MPH from Imperial College London and BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her current research encompasses several projects on abortion, contraception, and public health and pregnancy. Rebecca’s interdisciplinary training means she uses wide a range of methods. Recent projects include a systematic review of abortion in low-and-middle income countries, a quantitative evaluation of telemedical abortion services in the UK, and a qualitative exploration of what ‘quality’ of care means to abortion service users. Rebecca also leads WRISK, a research-engagement project funded by the Wellcome Trust aiming to improve our understanding of the way that pregnancy-related risk is communicated.

Rebecca Blaylock CV

Kate Whitehouse - Head of Clinical Policy and Evaluation

Originally trained as an obstetrician-gynaecologist, Kate went on to specialise in abortion and family planning. She aims to perform robust research to answer clinical questions and ultimately improve patient care. She has a special interest in abortion complications and second trimester surgical abortion. Through her former role at the World Health Organization and her position at BPAS, she has extensive experience in translating research into pragmatic clinical guidance. Kate has experience performing randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews, database analyses, patient and provider surveys, and qualitative interviews. She also has a passion for medical education and has provided both didactic and hands-on training to learners across various disciplines.

Kate Whitehouse CV

Rachel Arkell - Research Assistant

Rachel is a qualitative researcher with an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics, MA in Methods of Social Research, and LLB in European Legal Studies from the University of Kent. Her current research focuses on social and policy regulation of behaviour and maternal consumption during pregnancy, with a strong focus on bio-ethical and socio-legal methods. Rachel is currently a SeNSS (ESRC) funded socio-legal PhD candidate at the University of Kent, exploring the communication of risk with regards to medication use during pregnancy, post- Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015]. Current projects include a legal and ethical analysis of the use of biomarkers to establish prenatal alcohol exposure, and After Choice: FASD and the ‘managed woman’, a collaborative project with Professor Ellie Lee, University of Kent.

ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5796-1070

Rachel Arkell CV

Amelia McInnes-Dean - Research Administrator

Amelia provides administrative and project support within the CRRC. Her current work includes assisting with the mixed methods analysis for the “Family planning during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic” survey and the data cleaning for “Efficacy of LSPT for identifying ongoing pregnancy after MA at 64-70 days of gestation”. Amelia is the secretariat for the Research and Ethics Committee. She works closely with external researchers on feasibility, set-up and completion of research projects at BPAS. 

Collaborate with us

If you are a student or a researcher with a project you would like to undertake and looking for a host organisation, do get in touch.

 

We have previously accepted students and fellows from Imperial College London, Kent University, Sussex University, Princeton University, Harvard Law School and Yale Law School.

 

After a pause to research activities during COVID-19, we are now accepting research applications for consideration. If you wish to collaborate with us, please click here

Research Projects

Read more about our ongoing, completed and collaborative research.

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Research Briefings

Learn about recent research by reading our short briefings.

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Awards, grants and prizes

The Heather Trickey Essay Prize

This prize encourages work reflecting the contribution and commitment of Dr Heather Trickey to finding common ground in the field of women’s reproductive health and women’s rights.

By bringing together those of differing perspectives, we’ll develop innovative, practical policy solutions to difficult problems.

 

Peter Huntingford Memorial Prize

BPAS has endowed the Peter Huntingford Memorial Prize to mark the late Professor Peter Huntingford’s contribution to obstetrics and gynaecology. 

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