Mercedes is a nurse and a midwife with over 20 years’ experience in clinical care provision, management, education and research. She has been a Midwifery Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire since 2012 and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain). Mercedes is studying the use of intrapartum interventions for which a selective use is recommended in Spanish and English settings, utilising a mixed methods approach. She is a reviewer for various Q1 ranking Midwifery and Nursing journals (such as the Journal of Advanced Nursing, and Midwifery) and a collaborator of the Research in Childbirth and Health unit (ReaCH) at UCLan and a member of the Research in Gender, Society & Global Health unit at the University of Ramon Llull, Barcelona.
Mercedes has taught across the pre-registration and postgraduate spectrum of subjects relating to midwifery, such as anatomy and physiology, midwifery theory and practice, pharmacology, collaborative working, ethics and law and others, with special interest in research, Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and woman-centred care. She is currently offering supervision and support to undergraduate and masters students completing their dissertations while undertaking her own PhD. Mercedes' research centres in broad terms on studying the role of the midwife in improving perinatal outcomes and enhancing birth physiology (MidconBirth project). In particular, through her PhD work, Mercedes is exploring the use of unnecessary interventions during labour and birth.
Mercedes qualified as a nurse in 1998 and worked in a variety of roles and settings before completing a BSc (Hons) in Midwifery in 2004 at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). She worked as a clinical midwife in the North West of England, mainly in intrapartum care settings before moving into staff training and development, taking the role of Maternity Training Coordinator for the Trust. In 2011 she became one of 25 band 8 Clinical Practice Facilitators in Midwifery employed by NHS London. The role encompassed three main responsibilities: supporting students in placements, liaising closely with and delivering midwifery teaching at King’s College London and University of Greenwich and undertaking managerial duties at her link hospital in South London. This provided her with the opportunity to experience the exciting opportunities of improving maternal care through the training and support of the next generation of midwives. This prompted her to apply for a Midwifery Lecturer post at UCLan where she has worked since 2012. During her time here, Mercedes has completed a Masters in Midwifery and a PGCert in Education. She has participated in the development of an innovative and exciting curriculum based mainly on and delivered using Case Based Learning and underpinned by the salutogenesis theory, (which formed the basis for her MA’s dissertation). She was year leader for the first ever cohort of midwifery students to complete their training utilising this method of learning. The team and the pedagogic methods employed have been shortlisted for national teaching awards. In addition, the British Council funded UCLan’s midwifery team to share their teaching and learning strategy of CBL with the midwifery department at the University of Hangzhou (China), which now uses this in its curriculum. The Fernandes Foundation in India has also adopted the CBL with the support from the midwifery lecturer team at UCLan and Professor Soo Downe. This project received the Royal College of Midwives award for Innovation in Teaching and Excellence in 2020. Mercedes' focus has always been to ensure practice is woman centred and based on the best available evidence, and she has participated in various national and international research groups and projects, such as the COST Action IS0907 Childbirth, Cultures, Concerns and Consequences (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) led by Professor Soo Downe (UCLan) and the European MidconBirth study (Nursing Council of Catalonia, Spain), led by Dr Ramon Escuriet. She has been a member of scientific committees such as the 12th International Normal Labour and Birth Conference (June 2019) and the I International Conference on "Genero, Ética y Cultura: Maternidad, Tecnología y Relación Asistencial", Universidad de Barcelona, Spain (May 2014). She has also published several papers in peer reviewed journals and book chapters inthe areas of maternity care and higher education and has presented at national and international conferences. She is also a reviewer for international Q1 midwifery and nursing journals, including the Journal of Advanced Nursing, Midwifery and Women and Birth. Her PhD aims to understand the utilisation of intrapartum interventions for which a selective use is recommended in Spain and England, through the use of a mixed methods approach.