We are leading the development of a research programme in Children’s Health and Maternity in collaboration with the following 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 first phase of this programme has involved engaging 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.
We aimed to identify 3-4 possible interventions 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 selection of interventions. For further detail please see the briefing document.
We asked all ARCs to consult with their constituencies of providers, commissioners and Patient and Public Involvement groups to suggest interventions that were 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 were used indicatively to rank and prioritise the interventions.
Nine interventions were particularly highly rated in this process. Our next step was to undertake rapid but formal reviews of the evidence of efficacy/effectiveness to produce priority briefings for the shortlisted interventions. Using these reviews, we have finalised our selection and sense-checked this against national priorities with our Programme Advisory Board, which includes PPI representatives and national leaders in Child Health and Maternity.
We have prioritised three projects and held three further projects in reserve while the seven different cross-ARC priority programmes evolve, as some intervention suggestions fall under the remit of more than one priority programme.
The three highest ranked interventions were:
- Maternal Mental Health Multidisciplinary Teams
- Early years/school supervised toothbrushing
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for children in care
The following three programmes are being held in reserve, depending on discussions with other cross-ARC priority programmes and available funding:
- Independent Domestic Violence Advisors in maternity settings
- Birmingham Symptom Specific Obstetric Triage
After we have finalised our list of selected projects, we will work with project teams to agree study designs and an overarching programme of research to evaluate the implementation and impact of these projects.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us by email.