BeArH project focus group

20th May 2019

Get involved and help others by taking part in the following research project

BeArH project focus group

We’re supporting this University of Northampton and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust project – Before Arrival at Hospital: Factors affecting timing of admission to hospital for children with serious infectious illness (The BeArH project).

We invite you to take part in a focus group for our research study called Before Arrival at Hospital (BeArH). The purpose of the BeArH project is to identify factors affecting the timing of admission to hospital for children with serious infectious illness (such as sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia). This is a joint project involving parents, academics, clinicians and charity partners, and is being led by the University of Northampton and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Major cause of childhood illness

Infection is a major cause of childhood illness and death, in the UK and globally, in the first five years of life. Many of these deaths are avoidable as infections such as pneumonia and meningitis are treatable if treated in time. In the early stages of illness it is difficult to know which children will become seriously ill.

Additionally, in the UK parents are expected to select a health service for the level of illness, putting pressure on parents to make a decision, during a potentially stressful time, about when to access health services and at what level. If health professionals are to prevent more avoidable child deaths, we need to know more about what affects the decisions that parents and professionals make when a child is sick before they are admitted to hospital. 

Working with parents, our study aims to identify all the things that influence decisions that parents and professionals (e.g. health professional, charity support worker, healthcare assistant, student health professional) make so that we can develop strategies to try and make sure that children get help as quickly as possible when they have serious infectious illnesses in the future.

Invite parents from the East Midlands to take part

For this study, we invite parents with a child who has been admitted to hospital with a serious infectious illness in the past (between 2011-2018, and aged 0-5 years at the time of hospital admission) to take part. We hope to hear from both parents whose child recovered, and parents who tragically lost their child due to their infection, if you feel comfortable sharing your experience to help our research.

We invite parents who live in the East Midlands (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland) to take part in this study.

We invite you to take part in a focus group with us and several other parents, which will last around 60 minutes to 90 minutes. During the focus group parents will be asked to share their experiences from the time their child first showed signs of illness right through to their admission to hospital. This may include discussion about what went well, and/or things that could have been better.

Learn from people’s experiences

We appreciate that it may not be easy to talk about these experiences, particularly if the outcome was not positive. The purpose of this project is to learn from people’s experiences, so that best practice can be shared and solutions found to the problems faced by parents and professionals. We therefore value your input to help improve the services offered to children with serious infectious illness.

  • If you are able to take part in a focus group, we will organise a date, time and location that works for everyone.
  • Any information you provide us about you will be kept safe in line with GDPR.
  • If you incur any travel or childcare costs to enable you to take part, these can also be reimbursed.

If you are able to take part in a focus group or you have any questions about the BeArH project, please contact:

Kim Woodbridge-Dodd (Researcher from the University of Northampton):, 01604 892443.

Natasha Bayes (Research Assistant from the University of Northampton):, 01604 892784.

Dr. Sarah Neill (Project Coordinator from the University of Northampton):

Please also take a look at our study webpage and video (below) for general information about the BeArH project.

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