One of the core functions of MUNet is research; the strength of our work is always  underpinned by a robust and developing evidence base.  In this month’s newsletter, we are taking the opportunity to spotlight a new research project in which our team is involved.

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who joined us in January 2021 for the first instalment of our new series of FREE monthly webinars. These webinars focus on thought-provoking, relevant topics led by some excellent speakers and highlight key issues at the heart of MUNet.  Please join us! The webinars will run on the last Tuesday of every month, 12:30-14:00 (GMT). Our next webinar will be held on 30th March 2021, so watch this space for updates.

In collaboration with City, University of London, MUNet is currently undertaking a research project entitled, ‘Developing the Midwifery Unit Standards Self-Assessment tool (MUSA-Toolkit): impact case studies in European midwifery units’. This research has been funded by City, University of London.

With a growing evidence base demonstrating the benefits of midwifery units (MUs) and midwifery-led care, more MUs are opening across the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe, meaning that support will be needed to facilitate their development, improvement and long-term functioning. Our team created the Midwifery Unit Self-Assessment (MUSA-Toolkit) to guide MU improvement, generating bespoke plans and supporting units to implement the ‘Midwifery Unit Standards.’

We worked on the first pilot of the MUSA-Toolkit from January to July 2020, collaborating with four MUs located in the UK and Europe. The first version of the MUSA-Toolkit generated overall positive feedback from the MUs involved in the pilot. They found that, not only did it reflect the ‘Midwifery Units Standards,’ but that completing the assessment supported their development of an achievable implementation plan. We conducted interviews with midwives working at the MUs in order to collect detailed feedback about using the MUSA-Toolkit and how it could be improved. Based on this, we created an updated version of the tool (MUSA-Toolkit 2.0).

This current development continues our foundational work, piloting the updated version of the tool and evaluating its use in order to produce a new MUSA-Toolkit 3.0 version that can be integrated online. Our ultimate aim is to develop an Accreditation System for MUs that can be used across the UK and Europe. We are currently conducting seven impact case studies in MUs located in the UK and Europe. Not only are we working with more MUs, but we are also piloting a new online version of the MUSA-Toolkit. We expect to complete the project in July 2021 and move into the next phase of development shortly after. If you’d like to know more about this research, please contact us on

We look forward to sharing more updates and findings from this exciting project with you throughout the year!

Dr Cassandra Yuill, Research Fellow, City, University of London and the MUNet Director Team (Lucia, Chantelle, Ellen and Richard.)

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