The new children’s research theme in the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) South London is an important step forward in local efforts to improve children’s health. Our theme research team builds on the Children and Young People’s Health Partnership (CYPHP), a project adopted by CLAHRC South London. CYPHP is a clinical-academic partnership focused on improving outcomes for children through a health system strengthening programme, delivering an innovative model of integrated care for children and young people. Both ARC and CYPHP emphasise practical real-world change for children, young people, and families, using evidence to improve lives.
So, we like nothing more than getting out and about and working with local children and families, learning about how they see the world, what would make things better for them, and how to make lasting and real change. Our researchers recently spent a day at a Primary School’s Winter Fair. Families were invited to share their views about what matters in health and tell us what they think about health research. We played games and had lively discussions. Parents and children especially liked the visual voting game, using dried pasta to cast their “vote” on which qualities of care are important to them.
The day demonstrated the most important thing for families was fair and equitable care for all children. Parents also emphasised the importance of research and evaluation on clinical services, stating it “keeps data current and reflective of the people who need it…”, “…makes sure people are receiving the best care possible” and “ensures people get the services they need”. Parents valued engaging with the local population and recommended more engagement activities through schools and social media.
We will continue building on our work with local children, young people, and families as we start work in the ARC programme. Also, we will be developing two projects based on local priorities; finding better ways to coordinate and improve care for children with disabilities and complex conditions and, improving the ways we find and provide early support for children who may need extra care in their early years to help them develop and flourish.
Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we do and, we would love to hear from you about how we can work better together for South London’s children and young people.