Although deaths in childhood have reduced markedly over the last 50 years, around 4,500 children in England and Wales still die each year.

Many more are living with chronic, complex medical conditions that may shorten their lives. These patients would benefit from children’s palliative care services.

The Martin House Research Centre (MHRC) is a partnership between Martin House Children’s Hospice, the University of York and the University of Leeds. The Centre has a multidisciplinary approach to research focused on children and young people with life-limiting or medical complexity, as well as their families and the workforce that care for them.

Our research is holistic in its scope, recognising that the care and support needs of children and families span clinical, social, psychological, caring, spiritual, financial and practical domains.

The role of different diets in gastrostomy fed children

The number of children who receive their nutrition through gastrostomy tubes is increasing, and many parents choose to prepare home-blended meals despite a recommendation to use a commercially-produced formula.

This study identifies the risks, benefits and resource implications of using home-blended food for children with gastrostomy tubes, compared with recommended formula feeds.

Read the paper or visit the project page.

Featured researcher

Lorna Fraser

Dr Fraser’s main research interests are in the topic area of children with life-limiting conditions and harnessing the use of routinely collected data for research purposes.

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Featured researcher

Bryony Beresford

Professor Beresford is leading phase one of the Yourtube project. Her research interests include young people with long-term or life-limiting impairments; adults with autism and parent-directed interventions to manage sleep and behaviour difficulties.

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Public involvement

We work in partnership with young people, parents and other family members, and relevant organisations to enhance the quality, relevance and impact of the research we do. Young people and families of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions have been involved actively in the Research Centre since its launch in 2017. 

Find out more about public involvement.

Featured researcher

Jo Taylor

Martin House Research Centre Public Involvement Lead

Dr Taylor's research interests are in social policy and applied health sciences.

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GP involvement in children with life-limiting conditions

Children with life-limiting conditions often have complex healthcare needs. In childhood, tertiary or community paediatricians provide care while GPs are rarely involved.

Nowadays, many patients live into adulthood and are transferred back to a GP. This study found that consistent involvement of a GP in the care of children is associated with reduced emergency hospital use.

Read the paper.

Featured researcher

Stuart Jarvis

Dr Jarvis's research interests include analysis of demand and provision of services for children with life-limiting illness, particularly paediatric palliative care services.

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Anxiety and depression in children with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition

Children and young people living with life-limiting conditions have been found to experience a range of psychological issues, and increasing survival of children with these conditions has been coupled with increased mental health difficulties.

This PhD project reviewed the evidence systematically to estimate the prevalence of anxiety and depression in this population. Read the paper.

Featured researcher

Mary Barker

Mary is a PhD student and is interested in mental health of children and young people.

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