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Children’s Policy Research Unit launched

22 July 2011

The UCL Institute of Child Health and partners have secured a five year, £4.6m grant from the Department of Health Policy Research Programme, to lead a new Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families (abbreviated to CPRU).

Professor Terence Stephenson, Nuffield Professor of Child Health at ICH, and President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who lead the winning team said,

“This is an exciting opportunity to ensure that some of the key policy decisions affecting children and young people can be informed by the best quality research.  As such, we hope to deliver the best policy research,” said Professor Stephenson.

An innovative feature of the CPRU is that it has designated resources toinvestigate specific questions asked by Department of Health, as these arise in the future.  It is also well placed to seek further funding if additional issues are identified.

The four research themes in the first year are:

1)                 Led by Professor Catherine Law, UCL Institute of Child Health:  Healthy Child theme will explore the health of children in different family structures

2)                 Led by Professor Ruth Gilbert UCL Institute of Child Health: Healthcare Provision theme will explore whether routine hospitalisation data provide evidence for whether the NICE guidance on recognising child maltreatment has had an impact

3)                 Led by Dr Miranda Wolpert, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Evidence Based Practice Unit, UCL and the Anna Freud Centre: Child mental health theme will explore how routine outcome measures collected in CAMHS can be used to feedback to practitioners and drive up standards

4)                 Led by Professor Russell Viner, UCL Institute of Child Health:  Adolescence theme will explore interventions to prevent multiple high risk behaviours in adolescents

CPRU is funded for five years to examine the research evidence base for policy. The work of the CPRU falls into four themes, with the theme leads based across UCL alongside important partners, such as the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), leading children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and the Anna Freud Centre. 

Each of the four themes have two projects which will be completed by December 2012 and these will inform the programme for years three to five.

The work of the CPRU is considerably enhanced by the four cross-cutting themes.  These are health economics (led by Professor Steve Morris – UCL), the sociology of health and illness (led by Professor Helen Roberts – ICH), social care (led by Amanda Edwards – SCIE) and patient and public involvement (PPI) (led by Catherine Shaw from the NCB)

The Unit will not be a general research unit for media, charity or public enquiries

The Unit was formally launched Weds 20th July,at the Institute of Child Health

Notes to editors

About the National Children’s Bureau
The National Children's Bureau's (NCB) mission is to advance the well-being of all children and young people across every aspect of their lives.  As the leading national charity, which supports children, young people and families, and those who work with them, across England and Northern Ireland, we focus on identifying and communicating high impact, community and family-centred solutions. We work with organisations from across the voluntary, statutory and private sectors through our membership scheme and through the sector-led specialist networks and partnership programmes that operate under our charitable status www.ncb.org.uk

Contact information:

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Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust is the country’s leading centre for treating sick children, with the widest range of specialists under one roof.

With the UCL Institute of Child Health, we are the largest centre for paediatric research outside the US and play a key role in training children’s health specialists for the future.

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