Healthy Children, Healthy Families

Effective early intervention to improve child health and wellbeing are fundamental to 
the goals of improving lifelong physical and mental health and 
reducing inequalities.
This programme aims to develop and implement novel approaches to improve child and family health and wellbeing, adapting the best international evidence to meet local health needs. The programme will build on the strong, multi-disciplinary NHS-Universities partnership and communities of practice developed in this field as part of our first successful CLAHRC programme. This partnership unites leading academic experts in the field of child health with an active network of NHS practitioners.
Priority areas for applied research have been developed following extensive consultation with health and local authority leaders and practitioners and aligned to meet the goals of the public health goals of the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network. The topics recognise particular regional challenges of deprivation, ethnic diversity and fragmentation of health and local government services, and include a focus on three cross-cutting themes:

Behavioural change to improve health
  • Reducing non-attendance for vision screening: quantitative analysis of characteristics of non-attenders and qualitative exploration of barriers to redesign delivery of services.
  • Improving dental health: qualitative research to promote parental brushing. 
  • Increasing physical activity: cluster randomised trial of a community walking intervention
Better use of routine data to support decision making
  • Improving asthma care to avoid hospital admission: using data linkage to identify individual and service use characteristics of children at risk of admission so preventative care can be targeted.
  • Identifying and supporting children at risk of a neurodevelopmental disorder: investigating if routine school assessments can predict children at risk and evaluating if early interventions improve educational and behavioural outcomes.
Tailoring interventions to populations
  • Supporting the provision of evidence-based parenting programmes: qualitative and quantitative analysis of current programmes to improve effectiveness
  • Tackling childhood obesity: improving the identification of adiposity in South Asian origin children and implementation of a tailored school-based prevention programme.
  • Methods will be tailored to individual research questions and will include: evidence synthesis, applied epidemiology, qualitative methods, data linkage, experimental studies, economic evaluation and translational psychometrics.

The team has a strong track record of effective public engagement and will build on this to ensure appropriate co-production of research. The programme will provide evidence to inform commissioners, develop interventions to improve provision of care and promote the implementation of behavioural changes to improve health and well-being.