Karen Barker

Office Times

Varies dependent upon workload – please email for specific times.


I have had a long career as a nurse and midwife working in various clinical environments ultimately practicing as a senior midwife on the labour suite of a busy inner city hospital.

In 1999 I became a midwifery lecturer focusing on legal and professional issues, programme leadership for pre- registration and teaching on Masters level midwifery courses. I continue to be a supervisor of midwives undertaking audits and investigation appeals as part of the Local Supervising Authority team.

My research has taken me to Africa to work with the World Health Organisation to explore the use of technology to train students and I have a passion for working with health care workers in low resource settings. I have also undertaken a number of educational studies in the United Kingdom exploring the views of students, service users and healthcare professionals in relation to aspects of formal training, volunteering and inter-professional learning.

My role on the editorial board of the British Journal of Midwifery, where I have a regular column, has enabled me to support colleagues and students in writing for publication and conference presentation.

I have recently completed the maximum tenure of eight years as a Nursing and Midwifery Council Fitness to Practise panellist and continue to sit on Registration Appeals Committees.


My areas of expertise are legal, ethical and professional issues along with clinical skills. I teach across all levels both pre and post registration midwifery programmes.

Research Interests

Educational research is my main area of interest seeking to improve the student experience both in the United Kingdom and overseas. 

I have undertaken research in Kenya in association with the World Health Organisation focusing on care in labour and the use of technologies. 

More locally I have explored students, service users and midwives views of clinical practice and supervision for experienced students. 

My Master’s thesis was based on the legal and ethical issues related to the advertising of formula milk to the public and health care professionals

Qualifications and Memberships

1999- Education PGCE(A) (from University of Bolton).

1998-Master Arts Medical Ethics (from Keele University ) . 1988-Advanced Diploma Midwifery ADM (from St Mary's Manchester).

1986-Midwifery RM (from Salford School of Midwifery ).

1983-Nursing RGN (from Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley School of Nursing ).

1981-Nursing RMN (from Salford Prestwich Hospital School of Nursing ).


Barker, K 2016 ‘Building resilience: the way forward’ British Journal of Midwifery 24 (3) pp 158

Barker, K 2015, 'Supervision: phoenix from the ashes ', British Journal of Midwifery , 23(9), pp.614-614. 201

Barker, K 2015, 'Midwives, women and politics', British Journal of Midwifery , 23(6), pp.386-386. 

Barker, K 2015, 'Freedom to speak up easier said than done ', British Journal of Midwifery , 23(3), pp.158-158.

Barker, K 2014, 'Newly qualified midwives: Be confident and competent ', British Journal of Midwifery , 22(9), pp.614-614.

Barker, K 2014 ‘Education, education, education’ British Journal of Midwifery 22(6) pp 386 20 Barker, Karen 2014 ‘ Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ British Journal of Midwifery 22.(3) pp 158

Barker, Karen. 2013 ‘Cinderella of the services: the pantomime of postnatal care’ British Journal of Midwifery 21 (12) pp 842. 

Barker, K. Omoni, Grace. Wakasiaka Sabina. Watiti, James. Mathai, Matthews. Lavender, Tina. 2013 ‘Moving with the times’ taking a glocal approach: A qualitative study of African student nurse views of e learning’ Nurse Education Today 33 (4) pp 407-412

Barker, K. 2013 ‘Can care and compassion be taught?’ British Journal of Midwifery 21 (2) pp 82.

Barker, K. 2013 ‘Reflections on the annual review’. British Journal of Midwifery 21(5) pp 310 Barker, Karen 201) ‘Support of the healthcare assistant’. British Journal of Midwifery 21(8) pp 538

Barker, K. 2012: ‘Hourly ward rounds: we need to communicate, not inspect’. British Journal of Midwifery 20 (2) pp 150 Barker, Karen. 2012 ‘Promoting supervision of midwifery to women’. British Journal of Midwifery 20 (6) pp 454

Barker, K.2012 ‘Funding fitness to practise: whose responsibility is it’? British Journal of Midwifery 20(8) pp 538

Barker, K.2012 ‘Caesarean birth after a normal delivery: it's a woman's choice’. British Journal of Midwifery 20 (11) pp 766.

Barker, K. 2012 ‘Is midwifery still a labour of love’? British Journal of Midwifery 20 (5) pp 378. Barker, Karen. 2011 ‘Diary of a mature student: Is it too late to become a supervisor of midwives’? British Journal of Midwifery 19 (11) pp 742-745

Conference Presentations/Chair

British Journal Midwifery 2016 ‘Chair Contemporary Midwifery Practitioner Conference’ London

British Journal Midwifery 2014 ‘Chair Contemporary Midwifery Practitioner Conference’ London

British Journal Midwifery 2012 ‘Chair Contemporary Midwifery Practitioner Conference’ London

Royal College Midwives 2011 ‘Inaugural Education Conference’ Poster Presentation London

International Confederation of Midwives 2010 ‘Student’s views of e-learning within midwifery training’. Durban South Africa

World Health Organisation 2010 ‘Students views of e learning’ Geneva