Who Are We?
The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) was established in
2004 to support women suffering from Post Natal Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) or birth trauma. We are not trained
counsellors or therapists or medical professionals. We
are mothers who wish to support other women who have suffered
difficult births and we aim to offer advice and support
to all women who are finding it hard to cope with their
The BTA is the only organisation in the UK which deals
solely and specifically with this issue. We aim to tackle
the problem with work which is focused on three main areas:
(1) Raising awareness of birth trauma
(2) Working to prevent it
(3) Supporting families in need
We have four leading experts on our Board, a Board of
Trustees and an Executive Committee of committed activists.
In addition, we have many active professional and lay volunteers
whose skills range from administration to obstetric and
The BTA believes that too little is known about the psychology
of childbirth and this means that the mental health consequences
of it are all too often and, all too easily, ignored. We
also believe that, on occasion, the emotional needs of
women are sidelined or forgotten. We are very keen to have
the support of health care professionals for our work so
that we can campaign effectively to change any current
practices that contribute to traumatic birth experiences.
Board of Experts
Our Executive Board includes leading figures in both research
and practice relating to birth trauma. We are able to turn
to them for professional advice and information on recent
developments and we are indebted to them for their invaluable
voluntary contributions. Our Board Members are:
- Helen Allott
Helen is a consultant obstetrician with a special interest in helping
women who have suffered from a traumatic birth experience. She runs
a Post Delivery Counselling clinic at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
- Dr Susan Ayers
Susan is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of
Sussex. Her main interest is the development of post-traumatic stress
disorder after health events, particularly childbirth. She has undertaken
qualitative and quantitative studies of traumatic birth and published
widely on the topic.
- Judy Crompton
Judy Crompton is a trained midwife and trauma therapist, specialising
in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
- Sandra Gidley MP, LibDem Spokesperson
for Women’s Issues
Sandra originally qualified as a pharmacist and it was her interest
in the Health Service that originally led her to become active in politics.
Sandra has been an antenatal teacher and is actively involved with
her local constituency hospital. Her parliamentary work includes being
co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health.
- Emeritus Professor Brian Toft OBE - PATRON
BA (Hons), Dip Comp Sci (Cantab), PhD,
ICDDS Dipl, FIOSH, FIIRSM, Hon FICPEM, FRSA
Educated at the Universities of Lancaster, Exeter and Cambridge
Brian Toft is Emeritus Professor of Patient Safety at Coventry University,
visiting Professor of Patient Safety at Brighton and Sussex Medical
School, Chairman of the NPSA External Reference Groups for Safer
Neuraxial Devices and holds several senior advisory positions including
membership of the World Health Organisation’s European Regional
Advisory Council on patient safety and healthcare.
In 2001 Brian was the first non-physician to chair an external inquiry
into the death of a patient in the National Health Service. He was
presented with the Royal College of Radiologists Glyn Evans Memorial
Lecture Medal for his work on ‘involuntary automaticity’ in
2006 and awarded an OBE for his services to healthcare in the 2010
Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Brian has published over 70 papers on the subject of risk management
and patient safety. He is the lead author of Learning from Disasters:
a management approach published by Palgrave Macmillan, a member of
the USA Joint Commission International: International Editorial Advisory
Board, the UK Editorial Boards of Risk Management: an International
Journal and Emergency Management Review.