We are leading the development of a research programme in Children’s Health and Maternity in collaboration with ARCs Yorkshire and Humber, North East and North Cumbria, North Thames, North West Coast, Northwest London, South London, West and West Midlands. This collaboration builds on the ARC network’s world-leading expertise in children’s and maternal health, and existing local and national networks, to best understand how research can contribute to meaningful change.
This three-year programme of research seeks to find effective ways to implement evidence-based interventions to improve children’s and maternity services widely across England by supporting 3-4 implementation projects. The research will engage with a wide range of voices from communities, children and young people and their families, and women using maternity services, reflecting the needs and priorities of the public, professionals and healthcare organisations to identify key areas where evidence can help to improve public health and services in health and social care.
Our aim is to identify 3-4 possible interventions/services that have a real potential to provide benefits to health and which have support from service users, commissioners and providers. The collaboration will work with adopted projects to help facilitate, support and evaluate the impact of delivery.
Professor Stuart Logan and Dr Vashti Berry hosted an online briefing which outlined the plan for the first 6 months of the programme. For further detail please see the briefing document.
In the first phase of the process, we asked all ARCs to consult with their constituencies of providers, commissioners and Patient and Public Involvement groups to suggest interventions that they believed likely to meet the programme criteria. This produced 32 suggestions which were then screened based on their evidence of efficacy and effectiveness producing a shortlist of 14 interventions. We then held four workshops – two each in maternal and child health – to explore the feasibility, acceptability and impact on equity of these interventions. The 9 partner ARCs were asked to nominate one member of the public, one provider or commissioner and one academic to attend each workshop. After hearing from intervention representatives and having an opportunity to ask questions, workshop participants were asked to give interventions a score reflecting their global assessment against the three criteria; these have been used indicatively to rank and prioritise the interventions.
Six interventions were particularly highly rated in this process and we will now conduct further reviews of the evidence and assess appetite in the services for implementation. These were:
- Maternal Mental Health Multidisciplinary teams
- PERIPrem – bundle of 10 elements to prevent neurodisability in preterm infants
- The Daily Mile – whole school, teacher led running/jogging intervention
- Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy for young people in care
- School/early years tooth brushing programme
- Birmingham Symptom Specific Obstetric Triage
In addition, a further three interventions were strongly endorsed by participants and we plan to include them in these assessments if we have sufficient capacity in the time available. These were: SLEEPIO, an online sleep intervention for young people with mental health problems, Transition of young people with long-term conditions from children’s to adult’s services and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors.
Our next step is to undertake rapid but formal reviews of the evidence of efficacy/effectiveness to produce priority briefings for the shortlisted interventions, with a view to this informing our final selection of 3-4 projects in early March. We will also be linking in with the six other priority programmes to explore overlaps and shared opportunities.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us by email.