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£1.5m donation to enhance maternal care in south-east London

28 February 2022 - Pregnant women receiving care at King’s will be among those who benefit

The Fetal Medicine Foundation – a Registered Charity that aims to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies through research and training in fetal medicine – has donated £1.5 million to enhance outcomes for women and babies in south-east London.

The donation, made to King’s College London, will enable closer clinical research collaboration between the university and the fetal medicine and maternity departments at King’s College Hospital, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, part of King’s Health Partners.

More than 12,600 babies are born across King’s – which includes the Princess Royal University Hospital – Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals each year. This donation will enable new clinical research projects to take place, which will benefit pregnant women and their babies across the diverse communities of Lambeth, Southwark and Bromley.

These research projects will aim to improve the health of women who are at risk of specific diseases after pregnancy. Long-term, post-pregnancy research clinics will be created to develop new treatments through clinical trials, particularly for patients at high risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and intrahepatic cholestasis.

Professor Kypros Nicolaides, founder of the Fetal Medicine Foundation and Professor of Fetal Medicine at King’s College Hospital and King’s College London, said, “The Fetal Medicine Foundation aims to support the early stages of research that follow up women whose pregnancy complications are linked to risk of long-term cardiovascular and metabolic disease. It is important to bring together and encourage close collaboration between the academic and the clinical aspects of the care of pregnant women, continuing after they have given birth.”

“We plan to invest in young researchers with excellent ideas and enable them to perform ambitious research that is designed to improve pregnancy outcomes and future maternal and child health across the life course,” explained Professor Catherine Williamson, Head of the Department of Women and Children’s Health at King’s College London.

“My very sincere thanks to the Fetal Medicine Foundation for providing this catalyst to enable practice-changing research in the long term. Professor Nicolaides has always been a visionary in the field of fetal medicine and more recently in maternal medicine – designing and delivering research that has real-world impact for patients.”

Dr Lisa Long, Consultant Obstetrician at King’s, said, “We’re extremely grateful to Professor Nicolaides and the Fetal Medicine Foundation for the generous donation to our academic partner, KCL. The funds will enable important research to take place, which has the potential to enhance the lives of the women and babies we care for across south-east London.”

In addition to funding new research, the donation will also support the next generation of scientists by providing funds for mid-career researchers to develop new ideas.

King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre brings together world-class research, education and clinical practice for the benefit of patients. One of eight AHSCs nationally, the partnership brings together three NHS Foundation Trusts (Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley), and an internationally rated top 25 university in health research and education, King’s College London.