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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 

Beyond ‘the choice to drink’ in a UK guideline on FASD: the precautionary principle, pregnancy surveillance, and the managed woman

Read the full article here.

Read the short research briefing here.

"It’s a small bit of advice, but actually on the day, made such a difference…": perceptions of quality in abortion care in England and Wales

Read the full article here.

Read the short research briefing here.

Client perspectives on choice of abortion method in England and Wales

The full article is online here or you can request a copy from us. Read the research briefing here.

"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

News 

  • We are launching a newsletter to share our work with the public. Please sign up if you are interested!
  • We're now on Twitter! Follow us here to read more about us and see our most recent updates.
  • As our collaborative project WRISK comes to an end, we are beginning to share our findings on women's experiences of advice, public health messaging and decision making during pregnancy. This short film shows what we found and how we think we can make things better:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events 

It is now fifty years since the Predictor home pregnancy test first became available in Britain, affording women the chance to find out for themselves whether they were pregnant without supervision from a doctor. But instead of being hailed as a breakthrough for autonomy, the Predictor was met with panic that women could not be trusted to use it correctly, and many pharmacists refused to stock it.

Half a century later, we explore the themes of autonomy, trust and surveillance in relation to reproductive technologies, including contraception, home foetal dopplers, abortion medication, and pregnancy screening. We discuss how reproductive technologies are used to both advance women's autonomy and promote tighter control of their reproductive choices. The programme is available here

 

We’re delighted to announce that the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) have opened booking for their FSRH Virtual Conference 2021 – Inclusive Healthcare, 17 November.

 

This fantastic conference offers attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest sexual and reproductive healthcare clinical developments and updates, network with and learn from a vibrant community of peers, and gain important credits to support your ongoing professional development.

Booking is now available, so visit their website today to get your ticket: www.fsrhvirtual.org

 

A research team at Queen Mary University of London is running four workshops for former, prospective and current IVF patients and people interested in IVF from its ‘Remaking the Human Body’ research project. These events explore questions around patient experiences of IVF, patient choice and decision-making, and embryo/medical imaging in IVF. For more information and to register, visit their Events page: https://remakingthehumanbody.sbm.qmul.ac.uk/?page_id=290

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. 

Hannah McCulloch - Research Administrator

Hannah is a mixed methods researcher with an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has almost five years’ experience in the evaluation of innovative sexual and reproductive health service provision in the UK and in Kenya. Recent evaluations that she has conducted include a service evaluation examining the safety of remote chlamydia treatment services across England, a mixed methods study exploring the accuracy of self-reported blood pressure and BMI given by those obtaining the combined pill from an online service in South East London, and a cross-sectional study exploring patient compliance with advice provided by a WhatsApp-based contraception service in Nairobi, Kenya. She joins the CRRC as an Evaluation Researcher, conducting service evaluations of BPAS' clinical services.

ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5006-967X

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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Hear from us

 

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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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