A nurse smiling at a new mother and her baby

Implementing and evaluating whole system change to improve children’s care locally, nationally and internationally

Our mission is to implement and evaluate whole system change that improves the way children’s care is commissioned, delivered and experienced locally, nationally and internationally.

Our main activities include co-designing, delivering and evaluating innovative healthcare for our population of children and young people in North West London. We also evaluate integrated child health initiatives, train health professionals in integrated care and provide coaching and facilitation to support the implementation of integrated child health. In addition, we provide strategic expertise to regional and national organisations.

The Child Health GP Hub was developed by our team and is now adopted widely. It has been cited by The King’s Fund, National Voices, the House of Commons Health Committee, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Nuffield Trust, and Healthy London Partnership.

Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) is about partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including the voluntary sector and social care providers:

  • Health Education England (North London)
  • Imperial College Health care Trust
  • WL/CL/H&F and Ealing CCGs
  • London Boroughs of H&F, K&C and Westminster City Council
  • Community and Maternity and Junior Champions
  • Local family centres
  • CLCH NHS Trust
  • Health Foundation
  • Behavioural insights team
  • CLARHC
  • Primary care networks
  • WSIC
  • NHS NWL
  • Healthier Together, Wessex
  • Belfast Health & Social Care Trust

Key research areas and theme leadership

Key research areas


  • Evaluation of complex health systems
  • Patients as significant and equal partners in health care – the role of co-production
  • Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)
  • Using behavioural insights to support system change
  • Population data and linked data sets
  • Whole population segmentation
  • Inter-professional Learning
  • Transition from Paediatric to Adult Care
  • Group Consultations
  • The connection between mental and physical health
  • Patient engagement through Simulation
  • Use of quality improvement methods to drive change

Key design principles


  • New approaches to care need to be co-designed with children, young people, parents, carers and communities
  • Focus on outcomes that really matter to patients; this is essential if we are to tackle the health inequalities within our communities
  • Focus on connections and relationships; NHS services can be minimally changed, while their capability and capacity are maximised
  • Harness existing strengths: put GP practices at the heart of new care models - specialist services are drawn out of the hospital to provide support & to help connect services across all of health, social care and education
  • Include the whole population, (using segmentation to create bundles of care) to drive prevention and improve equity
  • Health seeking behaviours improve through peer-to-peer support
  • Use education and development, for the whole multi-professional team, as a key way to build relationships and finding new ways to work together

Theme leads


Dr Mando Watson
Consultant Paediatrician

Mando Watson is a General Paediatrician at St Mary’s Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College. Through the Connecting Care for Children programme in North West London she has developed holistic care and increased emphasis on prevention and the patient perspective. ‘Learning’ integrated care requires a focus on the patient perspective - Mando has developed the Programme for Integrated Child Health (PICH). This is the first such programme in the UK; the impact of which has been transformational for participating trainees. As past president of the Child Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine, Mando organised conferences that put patients and parents on the podium, recognising that paediatricians need to become better at collaborative decision-making with patients and parents.

Further information on Dr Watson


Dr Bob Klaber
Consultant general paediatrician and director of strategy, research and innovation

Bob Klaber is a General Paediatrician and Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who also trained as an educationalist alongside his postgraduate paediatric training in London. Bob has a strong interest in individual and systems learning & improvement, behavioural insights work and leadership development. Since 2015, Bob has been leading an ambitious project to create a culture of continuous quality improvement programme across Imperial which continues to evolve and develop in lots of exciting ways. Bob is the Executive Director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust for the strategic development of our research portfolio, and in developing our approach to innovation. He is also an Hon Senior Lecturer within Imperial College.

Further information on Dr Klaber


Professor Mitch Blair
Professor of Paediatrics & Child Public Health

Mitch Blair is a paediatrician and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health at Imperial College. He has a background in medical education, epidemiology and health services research. His primary research interests are in preventive child health programmes, international child health indicators and child health services research. His most recent research (BLUEPRINTS trial) is in developing a better understanding of unscheduled acute care in young children and exploring interventions which may reduce this.

Further information on Professor Blair

Theme members

Integrated Care team

Dr Mando Watson

Mando Watson is a General Paediatrician at St Mary’s Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College. Through the Connecting Care for Children programme in North West London she has developed holistic care and increased emphasis on prevention and the patient perspective. ‘Learning’ integrated care requires a focus on the patient perspective - Mando has developed the Programme for Integrated Child Health (PICH). This is the first such programme in the UK; the impact of which has been transformational for participating trainees. As past president of the Child Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine, Mando organised conferences that put patients and parents on the podium, recognising that paediatricians need to become better at collaborative decision-making with patients and parents.

Dr Bob Klaber

Bob Klaber is a General Paediatrician and Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who also trained as an educationalist alongside his postgraduate paediatric training in London.
Bob has a strong interest in individual and systems learning & improvement, behavioural insights work and leadership development. Since 2015, Bob has been leading an ambitious project to create a culture of continuous quality improvement programme across Imperial which continues to evolve and develop in lots of exciting ways.
Bob is the Executive Director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust for the strategic development of our research portfolio, and in developing our approach to innovation. He is also an Hon Senior Lecturer within Imperial College.

Professor Mitch Blair

Mitch Blair is a paediatrician and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health at Imperial College. He has a background in medical education, epidemiology and health services research. His primary research interests are in preventive child health programmes, international child health indicators and child health services research. His most recent research (BLUEPRINTS trial) is in developing a better understanding of unscheduled acute care in young children and exploring interventions which may reduce this.

Dr Dougal Hargreaves

Dougal Hargreaves is a paediatrician and Senior Lecturer in Child Public Health at Imperial College. He has a background in Health Care Policy, Adolescent Medicine and Improvement Science.
One major current research focus is measuring and improving the quality of NHS care for children and young people. This includes partnership working with patients & families and data-driven work, for example linkage between health, education, and social care datasets.

Professor Sonia Saxena

Professor Sonia Saxena is a Professor of Primary Care at Imperial College London. Her research aims to provide evidence to improve child health and wellbeing in the population, and thereby reduce the population burden from poor health. She leads a team of researchers in the Child Health Unit with funding support from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Programme Development Grants and fellowships and charities.

Dr Kim Foley

Dr Kim Foley is a post-doctoral research associate in the Child Health Unit in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health.

Dr Hanna Creese

Dr Hanna Creese is a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Child Health Unit in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health. She is a Social Epidemiologist with interests in health inequalities, mental health, risky health behaviours and obesity in children and young people.

Dr Geva Greenfield

Dr Geva Greenfield is a Research Fellow in Public Health. Geva’s research focuses on big healthcare data analytics, primary care and health policy.

Rianne Steele

Rianne Steele is the Programme Coordinator for Connecting Care for Children, an innovative integrated child health programme based at St Mary’s Hospital and covering the majority of North West London. Her role focuses on the continued development of the six GP Child Health Hubs in collaboration with the variety of clinicians who attend. This ensures we are continually providing a strong service for Children & Young people as well as a place for on-going learning for all. Rianne also works closely with junior doctors who rotate through the CC4C Integrated Paediatrics role to give them an insight into working in a different way to provide more holistic care for patients.

Phoebe Rutherford

Phoebe Rutherford is the Programme Support for Connecting Care for Children and the programme lead for Patient Engagement, working closely with local families, citizens and community groups. Co-designing resources for local families, including Q&A webinars, to support their children’s health during coronavirus.

Arpana Soni

Arpana Soni is a paediatrician and Senior Integrated Care Fellow in the Connecting Care for Children team. She has an interest in training in integrated care, staff welfare and the use of peer to peer influence in the adoption of innovation

Integrated Care Fellows

  • Charlie Coughlan
  • Heidi Makrinioti

Clinical members

Imperial Paediatric Consultants

  • Dr Mike Coren
  • Dr Katie Malbon
  • Dr Beena Amin
  • Dr Fran Cleugh
  • Dr Caroline Scott Lang

Primary Care Colleagues

  • Dr Niamh McLaughlin
  • Dr Nish Manek
  • Dr Jonathan Fluxman
  • Dr Yasmin Razak
  • Dr Meena Nathan
  • Dr Olivia Anglin
  • Dr Neville Purssell

GP leads for hubs

  • Dr Tessa Watson
  • Dr Toni Tonkin 
  • Dr Salene Kumar 
  • Dr Rhian Jones 
  • Dr Naomi Katz
  • Dr Adam Jordan
  • Dr Liam Topham 
  • Dr Nicki Thompson 
  • Dr Robert McLaren 

Trainees

  • Foundation Year 1 and 2
  • Academic Foundation Year 2
  • Paediatric trainees
  • GPVTS trainees
  • Clinical research fellows
  • Integrated care fellows
  • Health visitor trainees
  • Nursing trainees
  • Darzi Fellows
  • Dental trainees