Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Claire Grant

Claire Grant photo

My PhD Title:  Understanding the life course health needs of birth mothers who have had their children subject to care proceedings.
Supervisor: Dr Rebecca Lacey and Dr Jenny Woodman
Lay summary:

Over the past 10 years, there has been an increase in the number of children entering state care in England. Among birth families, maternal health problems are common and often contributing factors to social care involvement. The needs of these women are complex and the additional impact of losing a child to the care system is likely to be great. My research is trying to understand the life course health needs and experiences of such mothers, to inform how they might be supported within healthcare services before, during and after family court proceedings.

I will be using novel linkages between administrative health and family court data to describe and quantify variation in maternal health need and service use over time. I will also be conducting in-depth interviews with birth mothers who have had their child/ren subject to care proceedings, and surveying health care professionals who have supported them. Working with families and stakeholders, my research aims to generate ideas around what constitutes appropriate and meaningful healthcare for these women.

My Background
I have a background in psychology and hold a MSc in Psychology of Mental Health from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to starting my doctoral research, I worked in the Department Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London on a Medical Research Council (MRC) Pathfinder Grant developing an e-platform for collecting large scale cohort data in schools. Before then, I worked on a range of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies as part of the North East London NHS Foundation Trust research and development team.

Research interests:

  • Maternal health
  • Health equity and social determinants of health
  • Use of mixed methods in public health research
  • Public and patient involvement in research


MSc Psychology of Mental Health, University of Edinburgh

BA Psychology and English, University of Strathclyde


ESRC Ubel Doctoral Training Programme Studentship, 2020-2023


Peer Reviewed Publications

Grant, C., Widnall, E., Cross, L., Simonoff, E., & Downs, J. (2020). Informing the development of an E-platform for monitoring wellbeing in schools: involving young people in a co-design process. Research Involvement and Engagement, 6(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-020-00219-0               

Radley, J., Grant, C., Barlow, J., & Johns, L. (2020). Parenting interventions for people with schizophrenia or related serious mental illness [protocol]. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013536              

Widnall, E., Grant, C., Wang, T., Cross, L., Velupillai, S., Roberts, A., ... & Downs, J. (2020). User Perspectives of Mood-Monitoring Apps Available to Young People: Qualitative Content Analysis. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(10), e18140. doi:10.2196/18140

Under Review

Grant, C., Blackburn, R., Ford., T., Scott., S., Downs., J [submitted], Impact of counselling provision in primary schools on child and adolescent mental health service referral rates: a longitudinal observational cohort study, CAMH Journal              

Pearson, R. J., Grant, C., Wijlaars, L., Finch, E., Bedston, S., Broadhurst, K., & Gilbert, R. (2021). Mental health service use among mothers involved in public family law proceedings: linked data cohort study in South London 2007-2019. Pre-print available: https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/htcdy


Research Assistant, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London - 2019-2020

Clinical Studies Officer, North East London NHS Foundation Trust – 2018-2019

Contact details 

Email: claire.grant.20@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @_clairegrant_