New partnership aims to provide greater support to families of multiple births


Birmingham City University has joined forces with the Multiple Births Foundation to launch an innovative new centre aimed at improving the support available to families of twins, triplets and more.

The Elizabeth Bryan Multiple Births Centre (EBMBC) will carry out research into all aspects of multiple births, will provide training courses for healthcare and allied professionals, and work with practice based partners in the West Midlands to develop health and social care services in order to meet the needs of these families.

Over the past 30 years the number of multiple births has increased significantly. In 2015 11,073 mothers in England and Wales had a multiple birth, equating to 16 out of every 1,000 women, compared to 10 out of every 1,000 in 1985. However despite this increase, there is still limited research on the impact a multiple birth may have on a family.

Nursing Courses

Birmingham City University

The new Centre has been named in recognition of the pioneering work of Dr Elizabeth Bryan, founder of the Multiple Births Foundation (MBF) and former President of the International Society for Twins Studies.

Based at the University’s City South campus in Edgbaston, it will be jointly led by Jane Denton CBE, Director of the Multiple Births Foundation and Dr Merryl Harvey, Reader in Nursing at Birmingham City University.

Professor Louise Toner, Associate Dean at the University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, said:

“The Centre will enable us to expand our dedicated research activity in this area and allow us to work more closely with our practice-based partners in the West Midlands to capitalise on the extensive expertise that will now be available.”

Merryl Harvey, Reader in Nursing at the University, said: “Our joint research programme into the impact of multiple births and the needs of multiple birth families will provide an evidence base for practice both within the UK and internationally. This will inform the development of resources for families, service providers, key stakeholders, researchers, and the wider public.

“In addition, our specialist education programme will now include a range of Birmingham City University-based courses and on-line training for health and social care professionals involved in the care of these often neglected families.”

Jane Denton, Director at the Multiple Births Foundation, said: “We are very excited about our collaboration with the University. The MBF has already built up a great deal of evidence and experience over almost 30 years  of working directly with families with twins, triplets and more, while Birmingham City University has a national reputation in the education and training of healthcare professionals. By combining our expertise, the new Centre will be able to equip professionals to provide the optimum care that these families need.  We can’t wait to get started!” 

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