UCL News


New children's policy research unit established

22 July 2011

The UCL Institute of Child Health and partners have secured a five year, £4.

Professor Terence Stephenson 6m grant from the Department of Health Policy Research Programme, to lead a new Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families (abbreviated to CPRU). The Unit was formally launched on Wednesday 20 July at the UCL Institute of Child Health. 

Professor Terence Stephenson, Nuffield Professor of Child Health at ICH, and President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who led the winning team, said: "This is an exciting opportunity to ensure that some of the key policy decisions affecting children and young people can be informed by the best quality research.  As such, we hope to deliver the best policy research." 

An innovative feature of the CPRU is that it has designated resources to investigate specific questions asked by the Department of Health, as these arise in the future. It is also well placed to seek further funding if additional issues are identified. The CPRU is funded for five years to examine the research evidence base for policy.

The work of the CPRU falls into four themes, with the theme leads based across UCL alongside important partners such as the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), leading children's charity the National Children's Bureau (NCB) and the Anna Freud Centre. Each of the four themes have two projects which will be completed by December 2012 and these will inform the programme for years three to five.  

The four research themes in the first year are: 

  1. Led by Professor Catherine Law, UCL Institute of Child Health:  Healthy Child theme will explore the health of children in different family structures 
  2. Led by Professor Ruth Gilbert, UCL Institute of Child Health: Healthcare Provision theme will explore whether routine hospitalisation data provide evidence for whether the NICE guidance on recognising child maltreatment has had an impact 
  3. Led by Dr Miranda Wolpert, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Evidence Based Practice Unit, UCL and the Anna Freud Centre: Child Mental Health theme will explore how routine outcome measures collected in CAMHS can be used to feedback to practitioners and drive up standards  
  4. Led by Professor Russell Viner, UCL Institute of Child Health:  Adolescence theme will explore interventions to prevent multiple high risk behaviours in adolescents

Image: Professor Terence Stephenson


UCL Institute of Child Health