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Martin House Research Centre News

Family Advisory Board Meeting - 31 October 2022

Members of the Family Advisory Board met for the first time at Martin House since before the Pandemic.  Meetings have been taking place virtually every month since March 2020 but it was lovely to finally meet up again in person and have those valuable chats during the coffee and lunch breaks.  


The Family Advisory Board members meeting at Martin House on 31 October 2022

Visiting Post Doc, Dr Debora Niermann from the University of Education Zurich

May - July 2022

Being a visiting scholar at the Martin House Research Center was an honor and a unique opportunity.

Interacting with Prof Fraser and her welcoming team provided a great chance to further develop my ongoing Post Doc Research and foster international collaboration. Being included in the center‘s research activities and working groups was most insightful for designing a relevant and reflexive research agenda for the study I am/will be conducting in Switzerland. Visiting Martin House and speaking with the various professionals was infinitely valuable in this stage. As a sociologist and qualitative researcher, I profoundly benefited from how the whole MHRC Team shared their longstanding experience and also made sure to intentionally connect me with significant practitioners and scholars in the field. In addition, the MHRC staff was most helpful in arranging a brilliant visit.
Thank you all for your kind and impeccable hospitality. These two months have been a tremendous privilege. I hope that I will have the opportunity to come back soon! 
Visiting Post Doc Dr Debora Niermann


June 2022

We are delighted to announce that the Centre has received the PIER (Paediatric Involvement and Engagement in Research) Award from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

This award recognises significant contribution to excellent patient engagement for NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Studies.

Professor Fraser said: “We are committed to working with children, young people and their families to make sure our research is informed and shaped by them. We have a portfolio of nearly 30 studies - these are all informed by our Public Patient Involvement (PPI) work and without their input this research could not be undertaken.”

She added: “We can only do this valuable work with the support of the parents, carers and young people. I am humbled by how much time and input they are willing to give to work with us. 

“I would also like to thank Martin House and The True Colours Trust for recognising the need to provide funding for our PPI  work to ensure that we have resources to work closely with the families.  

The award was formally presented at the RCPCH Conference on 28th June  For further details please click the link below:-


New Report - 'Cool Rooms' help parents cope with loss of child

17 March 2022

Published on the BBC website:

New research suggests newly bereaved parents need extended time with their children

24 January 2022

New research has found that allowing newly bereaved parents to have extended time with their baby or child is highly valued and has lasting impacts.

For further information, the full press release can be read at:- New research suggests bereaved parents need extended time with their children

New Funding – The CoPPAR Network

5 January 2022

The Martin House Research Centre team have been awarded a partnership grant from the NIHR to develop the collaborative UK wide paediatric palliative care research network (CoPPAR). Working with colleagues at the University of Leeds, Kings College London, the Hull York Medical School, and University College London, we will develop a network of academics and clinical teams that will work together to share experiences and expertise to improve their confidence in undertaking and participating in research studies. This network will be a single point of information, held on the Together for Short Lives website, and accessible to parents, clinicians and academics where they can find out about current and new research studies and how to get involved.  Further information can be found here:- CoPPAR Network

Centre Director and Lead for the CoPPAR network, Prof Fraser said “We are really delighted to have been awarded this grant from the NIHR – this is an opportunity for academics, clinicians, parents and young people to work closely together to ensure that all children and families are offered the opportunity to participate in research should they wish to.“

New Paper Published

10 August 2021

A new paper has been published by researchers a the Centre looking at methods of finding the point of transition from children's to adult healthcare for young people with life limiting conditions. There are many concerns about the transition to adult healthcare for this population, including a lack of continuity in care and reduced ease of access to services such as physiotherapy. However, previous research looking into impacts of the transition has been limited by either using small samples from individual clinics, where transition point is known or - if using routinely collected data on large populations - by using a simple age-cut off between paediatric and adult healthcare, which does not reflect reality as young people may transition at different ages. The published research addressed this problem by developing and assessing methods of estimating the point of transition from routinely collected healthcare records and demonstrated that this approach has the potential to provide better detection of changes in healthcare use caused by the transition.

The full paper entitled "Estimation of age of transition from children's to adult healthcare for young people with long term conditions using linked routinely collected healthcare data" and published in the International Journal of Population Data Science by Stuart Jarvis, Gerry Richardson, Kate Flemming and Lorna Fraser is currently in press and will be available shortly.  

National Institute for Health Research - Alert

20 July 2021

The NIHR Alert covering the recent paper by Prof Lorna Fraser: ‘Place of death of children and young adults with a life-limiting condition in England: a retrospective cohort study’ has now been published and can be view at the link below:- 

PRESS RELEASE - Risks of severe illness in children from COVID-19 shown to be very low in largest study yet

9 July 2021 

The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, is extremely low in children and teenagers, new research shows.

The study - led by researchers including those from the University of York, UCL, Imperial College London and the Universities of Bristol and Liverpool – also found that catching COVID-19 increases the likelihood of serious illness in those with pre-existing medical conditions and severe disabilities. 

The findings will be submitted to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to inform vaccine and shielding policy for the under-18s. 

The findings were released from three studies which analysed health data.

One study found that 251 young people aged under 18 in England were admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic (until the end of February 2021).  

The researchers, seeking to determine absolute risk, said this equated to young people of that age group in England having a one in approximately 50,000 chance of being admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 during that time.

Looking separately at PIMS-TS*, a rare inflammatory syndrome in children caused by Covid-19, the researchers found that 309 young people were admitted to intensive care with this condition – equating to an absolute risk of one in 38,911. 

Researchers also concluded after looking at data for England, that 25 children and young people had died as a result of Covid-19, equating to an absolute risk of death from Covid-19 of one in 481,000, or approximately two in a million. 

Professor Lorna Fraser from the Martin House Research Centre in the Department of Health Sciences  was senior author on the paper called, “Deaths in Children and Young People in England following SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first pandemic year: a national study using linked mandatory child death reporting data.”

Professor Fraser said: “It’s important to remember that the risks are very low for all children and young people. Even when we found higher risks for some groups with severe medical problems, these risks were still very small compared to risks seen in adults.”

Senior author on two of the studies, Professor Russell Viner from University College London added: “Those young people at higher risk are those who are also at higher risk from any winter virus or other illness – that is, young people with multiple health conditions and complex disabilities. Covid-19 does however increase the risks for people in these groups to a higher degree than for illnesses such as influenza (seasonal flu). 

“Our new findings are important as they will inform shielding guidance for young people as well as decisions about the vaccination of teenagers and children, not just in the UK but internationally.”

 “It is reassuring that these findings reflect our clinical experience in hospital – we see very few seriously unwell children. Although this data covers up to February 2021, this hasn’t changed recently with the Delta variant. We hope this data will be reassuring for children and young people and their families, ”added author, Dr Elizabeth Whittaker  from Imperial College London.

The studies did not look at the impact of long Covid.


The studies are non-peer reviewed and part of a rapid response to understanding more about the SARS-CoV-2 infection: