Rachel Plachcinski’s experience as a mother sparked her interest in supporting other parents, both directly and through health service improvement and research. She joined NCT (formerly the National Childbirth Trust) after the birth of her first son in 1992 purely to make new friends, and then went on to train as an NCT practitioner, running antenatal courses for 18 years, and gain degrees in psychology (BSc) and psychological approaches to health (MSc). She has represented the views of parents on several major research projects and now works with NCT and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford to develop approaches to parent, patient and public involvement in research which are beneficial to parents, researchers and clinicians.

Rachel works with the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group and has recently joined the Cochrane Consumer Executive and Cochrane Council. She volunteers at her local Baby Cafe, Maternity Voices Partnership and various NCT events to keep up to date with new and expectant parents’ experiences and priorities.

Rachel has an interest in transparency around commercial involvement in research and information gathering, lay involvement in data management and ethics boards, and mentoring user representatives into research and health service improvement.