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ASPIRE Covid-19 UK


Work Package 2: UK/Netherlands comparison


The key focus of work package two (WP2) of the ASPIRE study is to compare the policy and organisational changes and impacts of maternity and neonatal care that occurred in the UK and The Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic.


What we will ask

We will ask what, how, who and why key changes have been made to maternity and neonatal care during COVID-19, and to compare any differences in women’s experiences of giving birth before, during and after the pandemic by country and region.


What we will do

This study involves several steps that includes gathering data from both the UK and The Netherlands:

  • Using survey data from Babies Born Better (B3) Survey, we will geo-map and compare at least 3000 women’s experiences before, during and after COVID-19.
  • Retrospective and prospective documentary reviews of guidelines, advice, reports from governmental, professional and service user sources will be undertaken. This will create chronological information of the nature and drivers of national organisational responses throughout COVID-19.
  • We will interview participants from key organisations in the UK (e.g. Royal College of Midwives, AIMS, SANDS, Birthrights, NHS England) and the Netherlands (e.g. Royal Dutch Organization of Midwives, College of Perinatal Care, Dutch Association of Paediatrics) who have a national perspective.

Collectively this data will be mapped together to identify patterns, similarities, and differences within and between the two countries, and over time.


Further information

If you would like further information, or can provide insights into any key documents or organisational responses please contact Professor Gill Thomson (, Professor Soo Downe ( or Dr Anastasia Topalidou (