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  • 6 January 2020 to 30 June 2020
  • Project No: 447
  • Funding round: FR17

Childhood infections are a common concern for families and one of the main reasons why parents/carers seek health care. Southampton and Bristol’s Primary Care research teams have carried out many studies into how best to treat childhood infections, including coughs, sore throats, ear infections and urinary tract infections. Both research teams have strong interests in promoting appropriate antibiotic use, better understanding how to treat common infections, including providing better self-care management advice for parents/carers.

We will invest in relationship building within Sure Start Centres in Southampton and Bristol will work with Children's Centres and other local community family groups culminating in a storytelling event that will bring together community leaders working with young families. In Southampton, we will work with Sure Start leaders to co-create ‘spaces for engagement’ with young families to host conversations around acute childhood illnesses.

Our proposed project is linked to two research studies, whose aims are to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics amongst children and reduce pressure on emergency care:
• Southampton (PL, MW, AH) Healthier Together is evaluating the evidence for using a smartphone app which provides self-care advice for parents of children with acute illnesses
• Bristol (AH, PL) CEDAR2 will investigate two different types of ear drops as opposed to no drops to reduce antibiotic use in children with acute otitis media

Several reports have highlighted the lack of diversity in research. If our engagement and involvement centres solely around white, middle class, middle aged, well-educated population groups, our reach will be narrow and may not achieve its full potential of addressing the health care research need in our communities.

We will be using storytelling; a novel and creative model of engagement. We will collaborate with members of NIHR organisations who have experience of storytelling events through their Reaching Out project, learning directly from their experience.  This is a cross-school collaboration with Bristol and Southampton schools.  We will ensure the project is meaningful by building trust and relationships from grassroots up, listening to communities and community leaders of family community groups and linking with research projects with a specific focus on acute childhood illness. We will be working with underrepresented groups to develop collaborative and sustainable relationships, thus enriching the diversity of our public involvement.

PI: Paul Little

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

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