Children and Families Policy Research Unit


NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit


Theme 3: Long-term conditions and disability

Tertiary prevention to reduce adverse outcomes for children and families affected by multi-morbidity and child disability.

Image illustrating long term illness and disability

Theme lead

Professor Ruth Gilbert


To inform policy interventions to improve the health of children affected by long-term conditions, including mental health conditions, or disability and their families.


Children with long-term conditions or disability account for a large proportion of healthcare costs throughout life. Improving quality of care and quality of life, while containing costs, requires join-up between schools, health and social care services, and carers. We will build on previous work on health outcomes for children with long-term conditions to also consider the health and wellbeing of parents and siblings. We will adopt a life-course approach using both nationally representative birth cohorts based on administrative databases and well-phenotyped regional or national cohorts, scoping studies of local variations in practice, and qualitative research with affected families.