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Professor Gill Thomson

Professor in Perinatal Health
School of Community Health and Midwifery

Gill Thomson is a Professor in Perinatal Health within the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit (MAINN) in the University of Central Lancashire. Gill has a psychology academic background and a PhD in midwifery. Gill has been led/been involved in a number of research/evaluation based projects funded by the Department of Health, National Institute of Health Research, Health Technology Assessment and third-sector organisations. Gill’s research interests relate to psychosocial influences and implications of perinatal care, with particular interests in birth trauma, factors that impact upon maternal wellbeing, and peer support models of care. She also has a particular specialism in a range of qualitative methodologies, in particular Hermeneutic Phenomenology, and qualitative/narrative based systematic reviews.

Gill is involved in a wide range of academic and scholarly activities including leading on/supporting research into perinatal health and wellbeing, supervising PhD students, teaches on a number of modules on the MSc in Midwifery programme, member of an NHS ethics committee and is a Research Degrees Tutor at UCLan. Gill is also seconded to the School of Education, Health and Social StudiesDalarna University, Sweden (0.2FTE).

Gill has been involved in a wide number of research/evaluations projects with a cumulative total of ~2 million. These studies focus on different perinatal issues, such as birth trauma and perinatal mental health, peer support models, and delivery of maternity care services. To date she has over 80 peer reviewed publications and is lead author of two Routledge texts. She is a steering group member of SCENE. SCENE is a multi-disciplinary group of international professionals that aims to improve parents’ and infants’ experiences and outcomes of neonatal care. The focus of the SCENE collaboration is to undertake research into how and why parent-infant physical and emotional closeness varies in neonatal units, within and between countries; the short- and long-term effects of closeness and separation on infants, parents and the infant-parent dyad; as well as how to optimise parental and infant health and wellbeing. She is also on the management committe of the COST Gill has a particular specialism in Hermeneutic Phenomenology, and co-factiliates an annual Hermeneutic Phenomenology methodology course and symposium with Professor Susan Crowther (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand).