Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney reaffirmed its collaboration with the Royal Hospital for Women at the launch of the Midwifery and Women’s Health Nursing Research Unit on Thursday 10 March.

The Midwifery and Women’s Health Nursing Research Unit was originally established as the Centre for Women’s Health Nursing. It is now led by Professor in Midwifery, Professor Sally Tracy, who has extensive experience as a midwifery leader in clinical and academic midwifery in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Midwifery and Women’s Health Nursing Research Unit

“We are delighted to have a research leader such as Professor Sally Tracy as the Professor of Midwifery to promote and lead midwifery research,” Professor Jill White, Dean of Sydney Nursing School, said.

Located within one of Australia’s leading women’s hospitals the research unit is bringing together midwives, doctors and nurses to undertake research that will translate into everyday midwifery practice and set new trends to offer more family-friendly and women-centred care.

“We are the envy of many nursing and midwifery research units because of our proximity to the day to day activity of the women’s health and maternity service. Being on site at the Royal Hospital for Women, with support from the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, enables research and teaching to be fully integrated in a very special way that builds great relationships and inter-professional collegiality,” Professor Tracy said.

Sydney Nursing School recognises the significance of its collaboration with the Royal Hospital for Women which provides leadership at a state and national level in both community and hospital based health services and research.
The Midwifery and Women’s Nursing Health Research Unit is also enhancing Sydney Nursing School’s midwifery research capacity. Professor Sally Tracy is currently the Chief Investigator on two major NHMRC projects, Co-investigator on a third NHMRC project, and with other Research Unit staff involved in a large ARC collaboration and several smaller research projects.
The major research projects involve multidisciplinary teams of midwives and obstetricians who are examining the quality and safety of different systems of maternity care. The research involves a multicentre randomised controlled trial of caseload midwifery care and a large international prospective cohort study of the safety of primary maternity units.
“These projects highlight the way in which our research will impact on midwifery practice and the care of women and babies,” Professor Tracy said.
“The randomised controlled trial of caseload midwifery care, for example, is looking at a totally new way of providing midwifery care in the public hospital system. As the largest trial to date it looks at the safety of offering continuity of midwifery care in a new way. All staff are involved in the changes and the development of new collaborative ways of working between midwives and obstetricians.”