A significant number of children experience long-term health conditions. This group’s health needs have not previously been given the research priority that they deserve. The NIHR has invested £21 million ($23.4 million) in 35 new studies focusing on improving the health outcomes for children and young people.
Professor Tom Walley, director of NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Programs, said, “This was a key part of the NIHR’s response to the need for more research-based evidence on the treatment of long-term conditions in children and young people. We must look at how we can improve the health of this group—there is strong evidence that early intervention can have a significant long-term impact on the patient, and economically. So this was not just a one off funding opportunity, but signals an ongoing NIHR interest in this essential area.”
Projects underway include: assessment of a new treatment for young people with a progressive long term eye disorder, keratoconus; drug therapy for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in young offenders; improving childhood atopic eczema through prevention, education and therapy; ensuring equal access to high quality hospital care and services for children and young people with learning disability and their families; and a trial assessing the safety and efficacy of flucloxacillin as a long-term treatment for infants with cystic fibrosis.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health president, professor Neena Modi, said, "Infants, children, and young people deserve high quality healthcare and health services. In 2012 in our report “Turning the Tide,” we showed how under-represented infants, children and young people are in research that is essential both to evaluate existing treatments, services and policies, as much as to develop new treatments, medications and health promotion measures.