New research network launched to improve South Yorkshire children’s health outcomes

9th April 2024

A new research network bringing together leading experts from across the region to improve health outcomes for children across South Yorkshire has been launched.

The South Yorkshire Children and Young People's Health Research network (SCYPHeR), is a partnership between Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

It aims to lead cutting-edge therapies and treatments while establishing a direct link between research conducted at both institutions and the everyday experiences of patients.

The Network was launched at an event supported by South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard who spoke of his commitment to addressing health inequalities facing children living in the region and the crucial role research plays in improving health outcomes. 

The Network’s research priorities encompass a wide array of areas, including safeguarding and child protection, health inequalities, rare disease, child mental health and wellbeing and child health technologies.  Collaborations with local hospitals, educational institutions, and community organisations are already underway, with an emphasis on fostering multidisciplinary approaches to research.

SCYPHeR is committed to generating new knowledge and translating research findings into tangible improvements in clinical practice and public health policies. With a strong emphasis on patient involvement, the initiative aims to ensure that the voices and needs of children and young people are central to its research agenda. 

Jo Smith, Professor of Nursing in Child Health at Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Children’s Hospital said:

“People in South Yorkshire are affected by widening health inequality and the region has pockets of high levels of deprivation which impacts on health outcomes.

“This collaborative network is a really exciting opportunity for the region to begin to address health inequalities, and a chance for us to lead the UK in children and young people’s health through our programmes of research.

“We are proud to be a partner of this vital research network which will unite world-leading expertise from the city’s two universities with that of our health experts based at Sheffield Children's Hospital to develop patient centred approaches to improve the lives of future generations in our region.”

Dr Meena Balasubramanian, Co-Director of SCYPHeR and Clinical Director for Research at Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Genetics at the University of Sheffield, said:

”The idea of SCYPHeR is very simple, but it actually represents a radically different approach to working across institutions, not least because it brings together a critical mass of healthcare clinicians and social scientists – to cover the whole spectrum of children’s health and well-being. We are much stronger when we work together. ”

Dr Katie Ellis Co-Director of SCYPHeR and Senior Lecturer in Child Welfare at the University of Sheffield, said:

“We were delighted to host the launch of SCYPHeR and to build on this exciting collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Children's Hospital. It was fantastic to see representation from a range of professions and to witness new collaborations being formed by researchers working in different sectors and in different disciplines. We are excited to see how the network evolves and want to thank everyone for their contributions and commitment towards making SCYPHeR a reality.” 

Find out more about the South Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Health Research Network.

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