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  • Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Orton
  • 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
  • Project No: 362
  • Funding round: FR 13

Childhood injury is largely preventable but is still too common, resulting in over 60 deaths, 40,000 hospital admissions and nearly half a million emergency department attendances per year.  Most of these injuries occur at home and are more common in poorer households. Providing families with advice and safety equipment improves safety behaviours, but it is not known if this results in fewer injuries or whether it is good value for money.

Between 2009-2011, the Department for Education funded an £18 million scheme in England to provide safety education and equipment to the poorest families with children under 5.  The scheme (Safe At Home) was overseen by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and led by local authorities. Health visitors played a key role, referring families to the scheme and doing home safety assessments. Over 66,000 families took part.

Unfortunately after funding from Government ended most areas stopped providing equipment, partly because it was unclear whether the scheme prevented injuries and saved the NHS money.  We now have an opportunity to answer both questions. We will do this by looking at how often injury-related admissions to hospital occurred in children under 5 before, during and after the scheme ran (in England) and compare this to areas where the scheme did not run (in England and Wales). We will also look at whether the scheme represented good value for money for the tax-payer and recommend whether it should be re-established in all areas.

When completed, we will share the results with local authorities and NHS organisations that plan and pay for prevention programmes and with primary care professionals who promote home safety e.g. health visitors. We will share the results with parents of young children through our established links with charities such as RoSPA.

Amount awarded: 

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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