Impact of primary care on child health
We have found that timely access to primary care is associated with fewer emergency department visits and hospital admissions for primary care sensitive conditions in children attracting widespread public interest and feeding written evidence into the Health Select Committee’s primary care strategy. We now have an NIHR funded work programme to tackle the problem supporting Dr Elizabeth Cecil’s work in close collaboration with the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London. We are collaborating with the early years theme of the Northwest London CLAHRC on projects exploring birth records of children from 0-16 year of age.
Tackling childhood obesity
This workstream explores ways of tackling excess weight in children. The PROMISE programme ( Paediatric Research in Obesity Multi-modal Intervention and Service Evaluation NIHR funded grant in collaboration with UCL/ LSHTM) enabled the largest evaluation of the National Childhood Measurement Programme evaluation of the UK National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) in England, assessment of hospital admission and bariatric surgery in children and development of electronic tools for assessing and managing obesity in primary care. We are now collaborating with researchers in several countries including Europe, UAE and North America.
Prevention and treatment of infection in primary care
Our research has evaluated the impact of national vaccination against bacterial pneumonia, the role of antibiotics in preventing bacterial complications in children and risk factors for infections in neonates in international collaboration with Improving Children's Antibiotic Prescribing Group (iCAP) (Prof. Mike Sharland and Prof. ICK Wong). Current themes are focused on exploring ways of optimising antibiotic prescribing in primary care by developing and validating prescribing rules.
Long-term conditions in children
One theme that has produced numerous high impact publications is the epidemiology of long-term outcomes of chronic diseases diagnosed in childhood such as Type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel conditions. A recent publication investigated the link between depression and inflammatory bowel disease.