Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Allison Farnworth

Senior Research Midwife



My background is in midwifery and I have worked in reproductive health care research since 2000.  I have been involved in a number of different projects over that time as a research midwife and project manager, but my key interests centre around quality improvement in health care with a specific focus on incorporating the views of patients and health care staff to improve patient experiences.

I recently completed in an NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellowship (2013-2016).  The aim of the fellowship was to increase the use of high quality research evidence in maternity care,  particularly in relation to 'post dates' induction of labour, using social marketing as a framework for the project.  This resulted in the development of a shared decision making resource for use between pregnant women and their midwives.  I was also a Knowledge Transfer Associate (2010-2012) on a project supported by Newcastle University and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which developed a toolkit aimed at incorporating the views of frontline staff and patients in service improvement activities. 

I recently completed my PhD with a thesis titled "A qualitative exploration of the role frontline health workers play in defining the quality of services provided to women experiencing an early miscarriage".  This empirical study used micro-organisational social theory to explore the ways in which frontline health care workers manage issues of suboptimal quality of care and the implications this has for the care of women experiencing miscarriage and, more generally, for quality improvement strategies in the NHS. 

At present I am the North East lead midwife for the Human Developmental Biology Resource and manage clinical activities relating to the Resource across a number of study sites.  In addition to this I am a core member of the Newcastle Uteroplacental Tissue bank steering group and the Reproductive Health, Childbirth, Genetics and Neonatal Research Team in Newcastle.  I also provide occasional lectures at Northumbria University on their Midwifery Training programme.


  • 2017, PhD, Faculty of Medical Sciences (Newcastle University)
  • 2012, CMI Level 5 Diploma, Leadership and Management (Chartered Management Institute)
  • 2004, MSc Health Sciences (Newcastle University)
  • 1995, BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies, 2:1 (Northumbria University)
  • 1995, Registered Midwife

Previous Posts

  • 2016-2017, Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University (part time)
  • 2003-to date, Senior Research Midwife, Newcastle University (part time)
  • 2013-2016, NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow / Senior Research Midwife, Newcastle University (part time)
  • 2010-2012, KTP Associate (secondment), Newcastle University/The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • 2000-2003, Research Midwife, Newcastle University
  • 1995-2000, Staff Midwife, South Tyneside Health Care Foundation Trust
  • 1992-1995, Student Midwife, South Tyneside Health Care Foundation Trust