The group is Chaired by Professor Michelle Heys and aims to:

  • Refine the scope of research in Community Child Health including clinical disciplines, multidisciplinary nature, interagency working and population health. 
  • Map existing successful academic teams in the UK researching in community child health. 
  • Develop a methodology and process to prioritise research areas as patients, carers, clinicians and academics
  • To provide a roadmap for the different ways in which those wishing to pursue research in this field can be supported and funded  

Professor Michelle Heys (Chair)

Michelle is a clinical epidemiologist, implementation scientist and innovator (NIHR Global Health Research Professor and UCL Associate Professor in Community and Population Child Health, UCL Institute of Child Health) and an active children’s clinician.

Her work explores how health systems and social determinants can reduce inequity in child health outcomes in low resource settings and how to translate knowledge and evidence for impact.

She has broad expertise in clinical epidemiology and implementation science, including quantitative and qualitative methods, systematic reviews, intervention development and evaluation and participatory methods.

Professor Mitch Blair

Mitch is a General and Developmental paediatrician and specialist in child public health. From 1990-98 he was Senior Lecturer in Community Paediatrics in Nottingham. In 1998, he established the River Island Academic Centre for Paediatrics and Child Health at Northwick Park Hospital. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications in the areas of international child health indicators, child public health monitoring, and health service evaluation. Co-author Manual of Community Paediatrics and also the first textbook on Child Public Health now in its 2nd Edition.

Mitch is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Public Health at Imperial College, and his latest research is focusing on methods to reduce unscheduled care in infants through social support and parental education enhanced with digital means.

Dr Will Farr

Will initially worked as a primary school teacher after a degree from Sussex and UC Berkeley.

He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.  Prior to this he was a Senior Research Fellow in Paediatric Neurodisability in Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and is an Honorary Clinical Senior Research Fellow at Brighton Sussex Medical School.

In research, he collaborates across the University, Education and Healthcare sectors in various Chief Investigator or Co-applicant roles, mainly on the topic of assessment and diagnostic pathways for children with possible autism, or other neurodivergent conditions.

Dr Phillip Harniess

Phill is a clinical academic physiotherapist and early career researcher. His research and clinical interests surround parent carers and childhood disability, in particular early identification and intervention for infants at risk of cerebral palsy.

He is currently a research fellow at the University of Exeter, Peninsula Childhood Disability Research Unit (PenCRU), exploring parent carer health and wellbeing, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Orchid undertaking an ethnographic study of children with learning disability and or autism navigating cancer care.

Phill is also a committee member of early career researchers’ networks for the North Thames NIHR ARC and the European Academy of Childhood Disability, as well as EI SMART. 

Dr Joanna Garstang

Joanna is a Clinical Associate Professor of Child Protection at the University of Birmingham, Consultant Community Paediatrician and Designated Doctor for Child Death for Birmingham and Solihull.

Her specialist areas are in safeguarding children, Child Death Review and Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood.

Joanna is currently funded by NIHR leading a study ‘Involving Parents and Staff in Learning from Child Deaths’, and by the Nuffield Foundation to lead a study ‘Improving Safeguarding Outcomes following adoption or Special Guardianship’. 

Joanna is Chair of the Association of Child Death Review Professionals, and a Specialist Medical Advisor to the National Child Mortality Database. 

Sally Morgan

Sally is a Speech & Language Therapist with expertise in working with children and young people with complex learning and healthcare needs across various London boroughs. She is a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow at City, University of London, having been awarded a Barts Charity Allied Health Professionals Clinical Doctoral Fellowship. Sally’s project focuses on children who need assistance with eating and drinking.

She is a part-time Senior Lecturer teaching across a range of topics including learning disabilities, ethics, health inequalities, equality diversity and inclusion. She is co-departmental representative for City’s School of Health & Psychological Science’s equality diversity and inclusion committee and was acknowledged for her input into the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists’ resources on addressing health inequalities.

Alison Morton

Alison graduated with a combined qualification in health visiting and district nursing in 1993. She is currently the CEO of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV).

In her previous roles, Alison worked as a Professional Advisor for Health Visiting in the Chief Nursing Directorate at the Department of Health from 2014 and then as the Best Start in Life Programme Manager at Public Health England (PHE). At PHE, Alison managed several national programmes of work for children aged 0 – 5 years, including developing a cross-government partnership as part of the Social Mobility Action Plan to reduce inequalities in early language and leading the first PHE Taxpayer Best Value Review of the Family Nurse Partnership national unit.

Alison previously worked as the Head of Nursing in Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and as an NIHR Clinical Academic at the University of Southampton. Her research was focused on implementation science in health visiting, and her quality and practice development roles centred on co-production and quality improvement methods. She is also an honorary lecturer at the Institute of Child Health at UCL.

Kirsten Prest

Kirsten is a paediatric occupational therapist and HARP doctoral fellow based at City, University of London and Specialist Children's and Young People's Services at East London NHS Foundation Trust.

She is currently leading a study that aims to co-adapt and pilot test a group programme for parents/carers of children with complex neurodisability ("Ubuntu") that was originally developed in low- and middle-income countries, for use in the UK. She is interested in research and clinical practice that focuses on supporting caregivers and families, improving participation for children with complex disabilities, and knowledge transfer in global health.

Professor Helen Bedford
Professor of Children's Health Population, UCL

Professor Emily Munro
Goldberg Professor of Social Work Research, Director of the Institute of Applied Social Research and Director of the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care

Julie Critcher
School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) Senior Leadership Team member and SAPHNA Committee Member

Dr Maya Kohli-Lynch
Maya is a Community Child Health subspecialty trainee in Glasgow. She has previously held posts as a Research Fellow at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow. Her research has focused on early child development and developmental disability.

Dr Ian Male
Consultant Community Paediatrician/Honorary Senior Lecturer, Sussex Community NHS Trust

Dr Catherine Tuffrey
Consultant Lead for Research in Community Paediatrics, Solent NHS Trust

Dr Rakhee Shah
Paediatric Registrar ST7 / Part time clinical research Fellow, Imperial College London

BACCH is registered in England & Wales, charity no. 1129758 & company no. 06738129 at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SH.
Log in | Powered by White Fuse