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The Health Research Authority Research Ethics Committee, Oxford South Central C  (08/H0606/139) has given approval for all the hospitals in the Oxford Academic Health Science Network – Maternity Network  to allow the medical records (for example, blood pressure measurements, ultrasound images and fetal heart traces) of mothers and babies to be used anonymously and confidentially to monitor and improve the quality of the maternity services, and help research into the causes of pregnancy-related problems.  This also includes allowing us to store discarded blood samples (e.g. those routinely taken in early pregnancy to screen for Down’s syndrome),that are no longer needed for medical purposes, for future anonymised studies to look for factors in the blood that might predict or diagnose problems in pregnancy, such as low birth weight and pre-eclampsia.

The Oxford AHSN Maternity Network brings together all the maternity units in the Thames Valley and Milton Keynes region to promote best care for mothers and their babies by supporting healthcare innovation, research, and training for midwives and doctors. As part of this network, a number of partners, including hospitals, GPs, Universities and industry are all working together to ensure that pregnancy is as safe as possible for mothers and their babies in the local region. For example, using anonymised samples and data helps us to understand pregnancy related problems and can improve the overall standard of care for all pregnancies in the local area. Using anonymous information means we cannot recognise you or your baby.

The research is being co-ordinated by the OSPREA team of doctors, midwives and scientists, based at the University of Oxford, who are working towards safer pregnancy care for all women. In all the hospitals involved, a letter is sent out with information about this research. If you have received a letter and would like to opt out of the collection of either your data or samples, or both, please use the form below. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the research team on 01865 221107  or email

Request Opt Out


Please ensure your NHS number is entered correctly and without spaces in between numbers or we will be unable to fulfil your request to opt out. We will withdraw all women from the study who provide us with a correct NHS number and wish to opt out, but we are unable to confirm withdrawals.

Data Protection

We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. This notice describes how we collect and use your personal data submitted to us online, by email or on paper, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and associated data protection legislation. Read more