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Congratulations to Gwyneth Lonergan, a member of our network who has secured a Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust at Lancaster University starting on the 1st June. She will be researching migrant women’s experiences of maternity care in Leeds, Kirklees, and Manchester.  A brief summary of this timely project:

With the NHS facing a crisis in midwifery care, one response, from both politicians and the media, has been to blame migrants for ‘illicitly’ using the NHS and propose measures to restrict migrant womens’ access to free midwifery care. 

This project will explore the impact of these claims, and the resultant policies, on migrant women’s access to, and experience of, maternity care on the NHS.  It will also consider how midwives and other health professionals understand and experience their role in ‘gatekeeping’ access to maternity services. 

The experiences of patients’ and midwives’ will be situated within a wider social context shaped by; policies that seek to restrict migrants’ access to the NHS and other welfare services; the extension of immigration checks into hospitals and GP surgeries; the resurgence of anti-immigrant feelings in the public sphere; and the UK government’s ‘austerity regime’ (2010- current),  which increasingly restricts access to social services, including health care, to particular residents within the state.