Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Nicola Heslehurst

Lecturer/NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Background

Introduction

My research focuses on maternal weight and reproductive health, particularly relating to inequalities and health service improvement. I commenced my current role at Newcastle University in January 2012 after being awarded a lectureship, and an NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship titled “The development and rehearsal pilot of a guideline implementation intervention for the management of maternal obesity by midwives”.

I sit on the executive committee for the Institute of Health & Society (IHS) Applied Epidemiology theme. I am a Principal Investigator for the IHS Public Health Improvement theme, and for the Maternal and Perinatal Research Team. I am an associate member of Fuse, a Public Health Research Centre of Excellence for Translational Research, and a Principal Investigator for the Early Life and Adolescence Programme (ELAP).

Qualifications

PhD “Trends in Maternal Body Mass Index, Health Inequalities, and the Impact of Maternal Obesity on NHS Maternity Services”. 2009, Teesside University

MSc Health Sciences: Public Health. 2007, Teesside University

BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition. 1999, Teesside University  

Previous Positions  

Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) Trustee, September 2014-present 

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Research, Teesside University, October 2007–December 2011

Research Assistant/Part-time Lecturer in Research Methods, Teesside University, March 2005–October 2007

  

Research

Research Roles

I am currently Principle Investigator for an NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship clinical trial, the GLOWING trial (GestationaL Obesity Weight-management: Implementation of National Guidelines). This programme of work included the development of an intervention to support community midwives implementing national maternal obesity guidelines into their clinical practice. The intervention has been piloted as a cluster RCT.

Postgraduate Supervision

I have supervised one PhD student to completion (Uma Padmanabhan, PhD "),

I am currently supervising six PhD students.

  • Emma Slack, "A life course investigation of maternal ethnic group and pregnancy weight in the development of short and long-term health outcomes for women and their offspring", Newcastle University (MRC studentship)
  • Claire O'Malley,"Determinants and influences of diet and physical activity in pre-school children in the UK" Durham University (NIHR School for Public Health Research PhD studentship)
  • Zainab Akhter, "An investigation of maternal obesity, bariatric surgery in women of reproductive age and associations with severe adverse perinatal outcomes in subsequent pregnancy", Newcastle University (Research Excellence Academy studentship)
  • Augustina Pemu, "Asylum seekers and refugees in the North East of England: an advanced quantitative study of inequalities in maternity care and costs to NHS maternity services", Newcastle University (ESRC studentship)
  • Dave Ray, "Developing and feasibility testing a health professional led intervention to prevent childhood obesity in the early years (0-2 years) in the Durham region", Newcastle University (Fuse, Institute for Health & Society and Durham County Council studentship)
  • Lem Ngongalah, "Knowledge, beliefs and perceptions on maternal obesity, childhood obesity and infant feeding amongst African immigrant women in the UK", Newcastle University (Overseas Research Scholarship)


I regularly supervise undergraduate and masters student research projects and research placements.


Funding

  • Jones, A., Heslehurst, N., Adamson, A., Ells, L., Woodcock, C., Fuse, Institute of Health & Society, Durham County Council (05/2017), "Developing and feasibility testing an intervention to prevent childhood obesity in the early years”

  • Heslehurst, N., Rankin, J., Devlieger, R., Ackroyd, R., Newcastle University Research Excellence Acadamy (09/2016),  £71,373, "An investigation of maternal obesity, bariatric surgery in women of reproductive age and associations with severe adverse perinatal outcomes in subsequent pregnancy”

  • Rankin J., Heslehurst, N., Brown, H. ESRC PhD Studentship (09/2016), £82,259.50, "Asylum seekers and refugees in the North East of England: an advanced quantitative study of inequalities in maternity care and costs to NHS maternity services”

  • Heslehurst, N., Rankin, J., Rushton, S. MRC 1+3 MSc/PhD Studentship (09/2013), £87,000, "A Life Course Investigation of Maternal Ethnic Group and Pregnancy Weight in the Development of Short and Long-term Health Outcomes for Women and their Offspring"

  • Heslehurst, N., McColl, E., Knight, M. NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (01/2012), £290,379, “The development and rehearsal pilot of a guideline implementation intervention for the management of maternal obesity by midwives”

  • Heslehurst, N. North East Strategic Health Authority (10/2010), £29,070, “A Scoping Study to Develop Midwifery Training for Obesity in Pregnancy”

  • Heslehurst, N., Holt, A., Simpson, H., Sedgewick, G. South Tees NHS Trust Small Grant Application (06/2009),£5,802, “An evaluation of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal clinical pathways for obese pregnant women within South Tees NHS Trust maternity services, and partnership public health organisations”

  • Heslehurst, N., Griffrin, K., Long, H. Teesside University Research Fund (06/2009), £4,348, “A qualitative study exploring experiences of the implementation of dietetic referrals for women with a raised body mass index in pregnancy”

  • Heslehurst, N., Ells, L., Wilkinson, JR. Public Health North East (09/2008), £50,000, “Maternal Obesity Maternity and Community Service Evaluation”


Teaching

My teaching activities include teaching qualitative research to students on the Masters programme for Clinical Research, facilitating Stage 4 medical student public health case study sessions on obesity, and contributing to ongoing institute and working group research seminars. My teaching responsibilities include student supervision and assessments for for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as PhD external examinations.

Publications