£1.5m donation to advance maternal care in south London

Posted on Monday 28th February 2022
A pregnant woman cradling her bump

A pregnant woman

The Fetal Medicine Foundation has donated £1.5 million to King’s College London to fund ground-breaking research to advance the care of pregnant women and their babies in south east London.

The generous investment will enable more clinical research between King’s College London and the fetal medicine and maternity departments at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital. New clinical research will strengthen the links between the university and hospitals, aiming to develop the health of women who are at risk of specific diseases during and after pregnancy. 

More than 14,000 babies are born at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital each year.

Gina Brockwell, Chief Midwife at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We’re delighted with the donation from the Fetal Medicine Foundation. These funds will support research that has the potential to improve the lives of women and their babies we care for across south London, and for future generations to come.”

Long-term, post-pregnancy research clinics will be created to develop new treatments through clinical trials, particularly for those women with conditions such as pre-eclampsia, which causes high blood pressure during and after pregnancy; diabetes developed during pregnancy; and a liver disease known as intrahepatic cholestasis.

Closer collaboration between the hospitals will increase the sharing of expertise, improving the management of complex pregnancies and babies cared for on the specialist neonatal intensive care units.

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

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.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and King’s College London are part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. The partnership 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.