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Recovery, Renewal and Reset of Services to Disabled Children

1 January 2021 - 1 January 2022

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Christopher Boyle

Research partners: Pennington, L., Morris, C., Allard, A., Parr, J. Haining, S., Boyle, C., Exley, C., Platts, L., Teare, D., Yu, G., & Heslop, P.

Funding awarded: (total funding of £ 483,000)

Sponsor(s): NICR

About the research

This study aims to learn from the rapid changes made in response to the pandemic to show how services for disabled children could be remodelled in the ‘recovery’ of the NHS.

We will also define minimum acceptable, effective core health service provision for future emergencies and lockdowns.

We will use information collected by the NHS and local authorities before and after lockdown in five very different areas of England.

We will examine whether changes in service use were the same for disabled children of different ages and health conditions, and how changes affected children’s physical and mental health.

We will interview disabled children and parent carers about the services they received and professionals from health, education and social care about the services they provided.

We will ask what worked well and for whom; what didn’t work so well, for whom and why; and the impacts on children’s and families’ health and wellbeing.

We will identify characteristics of services that have worked well during COVID from the interviews and information collected by services. Then we will invite families and professionals from across England to rate how important these features are for services for disabled children.

Finally, we will combine the results to make recommendations on how services should be provided to meet the needs of disabled children and their families in the present climate, and what would be a minimum acceptable service for times of emergency and lockdown.