Dr Wendy Norton

Job: Associate Professor / Reader in Health and Social Care

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Nursing and Midwifery

Research group(s): Centre for Reproduction Research

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 201 3810

E: wnorton@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Wendy Norton is an Associate Professor / Reader in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at De Montfort University where she specialises in sexual and reproductive health and women’s health care.  She worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Assisted Reproduction for 14 years before moving into academia. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, sexual health and HIV, reproduction and experiences of ART use amongst members of LGBT communities.

Research group affiliations

Centre for Reproduction Research

Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

Publications and outputs

  • Addressing health inequalities, assumptions and barriers in meeting the hygiene needs of the transgender population
    dc.title: Addressing health inequalities, assumptions and barriers in meeting the hygiene needs of the transgender population dc.contributor.author: Layton, Helen; Tremayne, Penny; Norton, Wendy dc.description.abstract: This article originates from the preparation of study resources for first year undergraduate nurses prior to them participating in an introductory simulation session related to patient hygiene (NMC, 2018a Annex B, 3.4,4.1,4.3 and 4.5). The lecturing team had prepared theoretical material and on reflection was acknowledged that it was overtly cisnormative. Content, both theory and simulation need to ensure that all protected characteristics of the Equality Act (2010) are addressed. This deficit influenced a need to expand knowledge and to influence and enhance care that student nurses would deliver to trans individuals who are in a healthcare setting and require assistance, support and care with their hygiene needs. Stonewall (2018) highlights that nursing schools should review curricula standards and training to ensure that it reflects LGBT-inclusive care including specific information on providing trans-inclusive care. This article considers some of the wider issues relating to this educational development and identify inequalities, assumptions and barriers in addressing the hygiene needs of trans patients. Ill-informed assumptions can lead to thoughtless care that can leave the patient feeling marginalised and discriminated against. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018b) stipulate the need to provide culturally competent care. There are many ways that a nurse can offer an even better care experience in promoting hygiene in a healthcare setting for these individuals.
  • “Like an unbridled horse that runs away with you”: A study of older and disabled people during the COVID-19 pandemic and their use of digital technologies.
    dc.title: “Like an unbridled horse that runs away with you”: A study of older and disabled people during the COVID-19 pandemic and their use of digital technologies. dc.contributor.author: Clayton, David; de Vries, Kay; Clifton, Andrew; Cousins, Emily; Norton, Wendy; Seims, Melissa dc.description.abstract: This study explored the uses of digital technologies by older and disabled people who were social distancing and shielding during the early Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. The study considers the benefits, difficulties, and technical support needs of these groups of people during this time. Using a case study methodology, in-depth interviews were undertaken with 11 older and disabled people recruited from a local digital support service, and their support workers. Five main themes were identified by the research team. These were: technology was a mixed blessing and caused frustration; technology use increased during lockdown; technology supported resilience and contributed to identity through “stimulation, knowledge and friendship”; technology needs to be accessible, and support was required to facilitate technology use. Understanding these experiences will enable policymakers, commissioners, and providers to develop better and more responsive digital support for older and disabled people in the future. dc.description: open access article The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • My emotions on the backseat. Heterosexually-partnered men's experiences of becoming fathers through surrogacy
    dc.title: My emotions on the backseat. Heterosexually-partnered men's experiences of becoming fathers through surrogacy dc.contributor.author: Weis, Christina; Norton, Wendy dc.description.abstract: Surrogacy is a family building option for people unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy. In heterosexual couples seeking surrogacy, a woman who is not the intended father’s partner, facilitates this pregnancy. Whilst normative discourses reinforced by contemporary healthcare policies highlight the importance of involving fathers throughout pregnancy, little is known about heterosexually partnered men’s experiences of surrogacy. This qualitative study explores how surrogacy shapes men’s construction of their father identity and parenting expectations. Drawing on interviews with ten men (nine self-identifying as white and one as white-Asian; all employed in professional occupations) during or after their surrogacy arrangement, we explore their transition to fatherhood, interactions in the pregnancy, and relationship with the surrogate and their intimate partner. This is the first study explicitly focusing on heterosexually-partnered men’s experiences of surrogacy. The findings provide new insights into this unique form of family building, expanding understanding of men’s role preference and level of involvement in a triad surrogacy relationship. dc.description: open access journal
  • Nurse led research – developing the evidence base for fertility nursing practice
    dc.title: Nurse led research – developing the evidence base for fertility nursing practice dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy dc.description.abstract: Nurses work across a range of clinical environments, undertaking different roles and responsibilities, but our primary goal is the same: to act as a patient’s advocate and provide optimal care based on evidence obtained through research. Nurses are at the forefront of patient care and therefore play a pivotal role in identifying gaps in clinical practice, and developing ideas for improving patient outcomes. By encouraging nurse specialists to embrace research as a core component of their role, they can address issues observed in the clinical environment, determine effective best practices, and continually improve care standards. Nurses acquire a wide range of transferable skills during their career, making them well-placed to undertake research, yet many are reluctant to do so. By seeking out research opportunities, nurses can progress their career pathway by demonstrating an ability to conduct research addressing important patient issues, and translating these findings into fertility practice.
  • The role of Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialists in British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy registered centres: a UK survey of practice
    dc.title: The role of Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialists in British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy registered centres: a UK survey of practice dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy; Mitchell, H.; Holloway, Debra; Law, Caroline dc.description.abstract: Aim: To identify Endometriosis Nurse Specialists’ roles and responsibilities within accredited Endocentres, how these align with the Royal College of Nursing Skills Framework, and potential for development to improve patient care. Design: Cross-sectional national survey. Methods: Data were collected from an online survey distributed to all 66 Endometriosis Nurse Specialists working across 58 UK-based Endometriosis registered centres. The response rate was 58% (n=38). Data from closed questions were analysed using descriptive statistics and free text responses were collated and analysed thematically. Results: Unlike Nurse Specialists in other fields of practice, the majority of Endometriosis Nurse Specialists (n = 33, 87%) had another nursing role. The median hours worked per week as an endometriosis nurse was only 13.5 hours. Most respondents (n=35, 92%) spent all or most of their allocated hours collecting and inputting endometriosis data, whilst over a third (n=13, 34%) were not undertaking any autonomous, nurse-led patient consultations. dc.description: open access journal
  • Men, chronic illness and health work: accounts from male partners of women with endometriosis
    dc.title: Men, chronic illness and health work: accounts from male partners of women with endometriosis dc.contributor.author: Hudson, Nicky; Law, Caroline; Culley, Lorraine; Mitchell, H.; Denny, E.; Norton, Wendy; Raine-Fenning, N. dc.description.abstract: Currently dominant in medical discourse, the concept of self‐management sees the responsibility for health and illness shift from the state to the individual. However, while this emphasis on individual responsibility and management has burgeoned, the role and status of partners and other family members in the management of chronic illness remains under‐theorised. While self‐management privileges individual responsibility for the management of chronic illness, the role of partners remains unclear. This paper utilises data from a study of heterosexual couples’ experiences of living with the chronic gynaecological condition endometriosis to explore how male partners engage in its day‐to‐day management. In all, 22 couples participated in in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews with each partner interviewed separately (n = 44). Data were analysed thematically and dyadically, informed by an interpretivist relational approach. The paper utilises the concept of healthwork to describe the illness work, everyday life work, biographical work and emotion work men engaged in. The paper demonstrates how the conceptual value of healthwork is enhanced by incorporating an analysis of the emotional effort required in managing chronic illness. The paper illustrates the value of investigating the role of partners in managing chronic illness to provide a fuller account of the distributed and relational nature of healthwork. dc.description: open access article
  • Barriers and facilitators to fertility-related discussions with Teenagers and Young Adults with cancer: Nurses’ experiences.
    dc.title: Barriers and facilitators to fertility-related discussions with Teenagers and Young Adults with cancer: Nurses’ experiences. dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy; Wright, Elaine dc.description.abstract: Background Improvements in cancer survival rates for Teenagers and Young Adults (TYAs) have resulted in quality-of-life issues into survivorship becoming increasingly important. However, infertility is a potential late side-effect of cancer treatment which can negatively impact on quality-of-life. Advances in assisted reproductive technologies have resulted in increasingly effective fertility preservation options. Purpose This study aimed to explore nurses’ experiences and feelings of undertaking fertility-related discussions with TYA cancer patients aged 13-24 years. Method An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was employed. Eleven purposively recruited nurses working on a specialist TYA cancer unit in England participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using IPA. Results Nurses experienced parents/family as self-appointed informal gatekeepers who were perceived to hold the ability to control nurses’ access to communicate with young people about fertility issues. Nurses adopted an on-going supportive role which was enhanced by the positive nature of their relationship with the TYA. Uncertainty was expressed over whether the TYA had been fully informed of their infertility risk and potential fertility preservation options. Conclusions Nurses should manage parental involvement sensitively if TYAs are to make informed decisions regarding their future reproductive health. Further research is needed to explore ways of engaging with parents to ensure TYA participation in discussions. There is a need for clear role delineation to ensure that TYAs are provided with the opportunity to discuss infertility risk and be referred to a specialist before initiating cancer treatment. Nurses should cultivate and optimise the nurse-TYA relationship to improve fertility care. dc.description: The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Understanding the NICE Guidance on Endometriosis
    dc.title: Understanding the NICE Guidance on Endometriosis dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy; Holloway, Debby dc.description.abstract: Endometriosis is a long-term gynaecological condition where endometrial tissue forms lesions outside the uterus, resulting in internal bleeding, inflammation, fibrosis, and adhesion formation. The condition is estimated to affect between 2 and 10% of women within the general population, but up to 50% of infertile women, and can have a significant impact on women’s, and their partners’, lives. Endometriosis is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, leading to reported lengthy delays in achieving a diagnosis. In 2017 and 2018, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) released guidelines and quality standards on managing endometriosis. Nurses working within primary care services play an important role in raising awareness of this condition and providing a holistic individualised care for women with endometriosis. dc.description: The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Working through the change: Supportive measures
    dc.title: Working through the change: Supportive measures dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy; Tremayne, Penny dc.description.abstract: All women will experience the menopause phase of their life; many of these will be working women. Some women may experience challenges during this time that may be exacerbated in the work environment. This article outlines the common symptoms of the menopause, examines how these symptoms may affect women’s working lives, and discusses how employers and managers can support their staff during this stage of their working lives. dc.description: The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Surrogacy
    dc.title: Surrogacy dc.contributor.author: Norton, Wendy dc.description.abstract: Third-party reproduction is commonly used by couples unable to reproduce in the traditional way. Medical and technological advances have revolutionised the field of reproduction, giving rise to growing numbers of people worldwide utilising surrogacy arrangements as a method of family building. Surrogacy provides an opportunity for individuals or couples to become parents in circumstances where carrying a pregnancy is biologically impossible or medically contraindicated (Shenfield et al, 2005). This chapter outlines the different types of surrogacy; the steps involved in a surrogacy programme, and other key factors to be considered when embarking on a surrogacy arrangement, such as the ethical and legal perspectives.

Click here to view a full listing of Wendy Norton's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Women’s Health Care
  • Gynaecology
  • Sexuality
  • Infertility and Assisted Reproduction
  • Contraception
  • Sexual Health and HIV

Areas of teaching

  • Sexual Health
  • Contraception
  • Assisted Conception
  • Gynaecology
  • Women’s Health
  • Complementary Therapies

Honours and awards

Royal College of Nursing Fellowship, May 2020, for an outstanding contribution to nursing. 

 

Membership of external committees

Membership of professional associations and societies

Committee member on the Women’s Health Forum Steering Committee (RCN)

Conference attendance

 Holloway, D; Norton, W. "Leadership Skills” Invited Speaker - British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting: ‘Embracing Change, Maintaining Excellence’, UK. 3-5 March 2021

Norton, W.N urse-Led Research: Developing the Evidence Base for Fertility Nursing Practice. Invited speaker, British Fertility Society, London, 16 June 2020.

 Norton, W. Procreative Boundaries: Gay men navigating surrogacy. Oral presentation accepted for the European Sociological Association Conference, Manchester, 20-23 August 2019. Elected one of the top 500 abstracts for publication in the BJOG.

 Norton, W. "Gay Men’s Experiences of UK Maternity Care”. I-poster accepted (Ref 1233) for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology World Congress, London, 17-19 June 2019.

 Holloway, D; Norton, W. "The Work of the Royal College of Nursing Women’s Health Steering Group”. I-poster accepted for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology World Congress, London, 17-19 June 2019.

 Weis, C; Norton, W. "Heterosexual partnered men’s experiences of becoming fathers through surrogacy” at the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference. De Montfort University, Leicester, 12th June 2019.

 Norton, W. "Navigating UK Surrogacy Law: Gay Men’s Journeys to Parenthood” at the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference: Reproduction and the Law: transformations, responsibilities and uncertainties in the 21st Century. De Montfort University, Leicester, 24th May 2018.

 Norton W. ‘Nurse-led Intrauterine Insemination Programmes’. Invited speaker, International Women's Health Nursing Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, 22-24 March 2018.

 Norton W. ‘The Role of the Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialist’. Invited speaker, International Women's Health Nursing Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, 22-24 March 2018

 Norton W. ‘Gay men’s journeys to parenthood via surrogacy:  an exploratory study of UK residents. Centre for Reproduction Research Seminar Series. De Montfort University, Leicester, 21st February 2018.

 Norton, W; Holloway, D; Mitchell, H. “A Survey of the Endometrioses CNS Role in BSGE Centres”. Invited Speaker - British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy Annual Scientific Meeting, Hull, UK. 17 - 19 May 2017.

 Norton, W; Hudson, N; Fish, J; Culley, L. "Gay men’s journeys to parenthood via surrogacy: an exploratory study of UK residents" at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Helsinki, Finland, 3-6 July 2016.

 Norton, W, “Reinforcing the Role of the Endometriosis CNS: An Open Forum”. Invited Speaker - British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy Annual Scientific Meeting, Cornwall, UK. 16 – 18 May 2016

 Norton, W, “Gay Surrogacy”. Invited Speaker - BSA Families and Relationships Study Group: Looking Back and Looking Forward to Future LGBT Parenting Research Agendas. University of Manchester, 6th May 2016

 Norton, W “An exploratory study of gay men seeking surrogacy to achieve parenthood – work in progress”. Reproduction Research Group Seminar Series. De Montfort University, Leicester, 3rd June 2015

Hudson, N. Culley, L. Norton, W “Bio-Sociality and the Negotiation of Diagnosis in Cross-Border Infertility Treatment" at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology in Japan on July 13-19, 2014.

Culley, L; Hudson, N; Norton, W; Law C. Religion, Infertility and Infertility Treatment.  Second Annual Conference on Medicine and Religion in Chicago on May 28-30, 2013.

Hudson N, Culley L, Norton, W ‘Online communities of hope. Bio-sociality and the negotiation of overseas fertility treatment’, paper presented to the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference. Milton Keynes,15 June 2011

Woodward B J, Norton, W J, Almeida P & Gilling-Smith C (2011) Inconsistencies in the treatment of patients with blood-borne viruses: an audit of British IVF clinics, oral presentation at the 27th Annual Meeting of ESHRE, Stockholm, Sweden, 3July – 6 July 2011

Woodward B. Gilling-Smith C. Almeida P, Norton, W. Blood-borne Viruses: An audit of treating viral positive patients and perceived risks in UK fertility clinics. Oral presentation at Fertility 2011 Conference, Dublin, 4-6 January 2011

Woodward B. Gilling-Smith C, Almeida P, Norton, W. Inconsistency in Processing Gametes from Viral Positive Patients in the UK. Poster to be presented at the British Andrology Society Annual Meeting, Macclesfield, 9-10 November 2010

Culley L. Hudson N. Blyth E. Norton, W. Rapport F, Pacey A. Cross border reproductive care: The Research Evidence. Poster to be presented at the 13th Congress on Controversies in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility (COGI), Berlin, November 2010.

Culley L. Hudson N. Blyth E. Norton, W. Pacey A. Rapport F. ‘Travelling abroad for fertility treatment: an exploratory study of UK residents seeking cross-border care’ oral presentation at the 26th Annual Meeting of ESHRE, Rome, Italy, 27 June – 30 June, 2010

Culley, Hudson, Pacey, Rapport, Blyth, Norton. ‘Fertility Tourism? Discourses of Cross-border Reproductive Care’, at the 10th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference "Transforming Healthcare through Research & Education" 4- 6 November 2009, Trinity College, University of Dublin.

Norton, W ‘Ethical Issues in Reproductive Health & Infertility’, paper delivered at the International Nursing Conference on Reproductive Health & Infertility, 23 – 26 September 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

Norton, Feehan ‘”Double Dutch”: making sex safer with education and practice’, poster presentation at the Royal College of Nursing Sexual Health Conference, June 2006, London.

Externally funded research grants information

The Sociology of Technologically Mediated Reproduction - Postgraduate Conference. The British Sociological Association. May 2014. Co-applicant with K Baldwin, C Law and C Weis (PhD students withing the Reproducrion Research Group). £1000.

Transnational Reproduction. An exploratory study of UK residents who travel abroad for fertility treatment (TRANSREP) ESRC, 1 March 2009 – 30 Nov 2010. Co- applicant with Culley, Hudson et al. £99,844.09

Internally funded research project information

ENDOPART 2: developing a knowledge exchange partenrship and improving support in endometriosis. DMU HEIF Fund. October 2015-July 2016.  Co-applicant with L Culley, N Hudson, H Mitchell and C Law.

European network for research on men, in/fertilities and assisted conception. DMU Revolving Investment Fund. October 2011-July 2012. Co-applicant with L Culley & N Hudson.

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