Meeting of SMART – Scion House, Stirling

Present: Helen Cheyne (HC) Emma Coles (EC), Rhona McInnes (RM), Jean Rankin (JR) Andrew Symon (AS), Heather Whitford (HW).
Teleconferencing: Helen Bryers.
Apologies: Ruth Deery.


HC introduced EC to the group. In post since 1 December and based at NMAHP-RU, EC will work with HC as Research Fellow on the inequalities study.

Project updates

Study 1: AS updated the group on AlcoPreg (staff recruited, study to start in January after some delays) and the smaller McTempo study which is currently underway. It was noted that AlcoPreg may develop significantly with an external collaborator.

Study 2: Tracy Humphrey circulated a study update via email. The rest of the group will communicate with her directly regarding whether they wish to be involved.

Study 3: HC updated the group on the inequalities study, which has now started, and EC’s involvement. HC/EC will collaborate with Brigid Daniel, Professor of Social Work, University of Stirling. It was agreed that SMRC members and BD will meet, outwith the main SMRC meetings, to take this study forward (see 5). EC will work on a protocol for the first stage of the study (a realist review), which will be circulated to the group.

Continuity of Care project with John Bowers: HC will update and recirculate the project information relating to this project, which was initially proposed earlier in 2014 after a request by Ann Holmes for the group to undertake the project.


It was established that the main aim of the SMART website is to showcase the group and the individual researchers, although the logos of and links to their institutions will be incorporated. Although a quote has already been received for its design and creation (from the designer of the NMAHP site), at least one further quote will be required as part of the procurement process. RM has suggested another designer ( It was agreed that, like the NMAHP site, the SMART website can be hosted by the University of Stirling but will have its own URL which will be independent of HW will draft outline requirements for the website (including issues such as name, hosting, control of content management, search engine optimisation and design of SMART logo) and circulate them to the group.


HC noted that the leadership & development part of the funding is yet to be spent. It was suggested that this funding could be apportioned among the group as long as its usage fit into the development remit. Alternatively, it could be used to fund developmental group meetings (see 5).

Meeting schedule

It was agreed that responsibility for projects will remain with individual project groups, and meetings for each will take place separately, as required. Various options were then discussed for both management and developmental meetings of the whole group, with the potential for up to four meeting days per year, either held separately or incorporating elements of both aspects:

Management – up to three meetings per year, either face to face or via Skype.

Development – ideas discussed included holding a two-day ‘research sandpit’ (suggested by RM/JR), and/or inviting relevant professionals, such as John Froggatt from CSO, to attend one-off learning meetings. HC will compile a list of professional development suggestions.

Group purpose and membership

Given the changing landscape of midwifery research, the remit and role of the group and the potential for wider membership (e.g. not limited to PIs) and/or collaboration was discussed. The importance of keeping SMRC as a working/steering group, and not an interest group, was noted.


Group communication: it was agreed that EC will minute group meetings and circulate these to the group.

SISCC: HC briefed the group about the purpose and activities of the Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre (SISCC), led by Mary Renfrew and based at the University of Dundee. HC is a lead on the Executive Group of the maternity and early years workstream.