The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has invested £21 million in 35 new studies that focus on improving the health outcomes for children and young people with long-term conditions (LTCs).
In early 2014, the NIHR issued a call for evaluative research for LTCs in the young, in response to Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies' 2012 report highlighting the need for more research into children's health, particularly for those suffering from conditions such as cystic fibrosis, mental health disorders and type 1 diabetes.
"We must look at how we can improve the health of this group - there is strong evidence that early intervention can have a significant long-term impact on the patient, and economically," said Professor Tom Walley, Director of NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Programmes.
Projects funded by the Institute now underway include: assessment of a new treatment for young people with a progressive long term eye disorder, keratoconus; drug therapy for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in young offenders; and a trial assessing the safety and efficacy of flucloxacillin as a long-term treatment for infants with cystic fibrosis.
"Infants, children, and young people deserve high quality healthcare and health services," said Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health president, Professor Neena Modi. "In 2012 in our report Turning the Tide, we showed how under-represented infants, children and young people are in research that is essential both to evaluate existing treatments, services, and policies, as much as to develop new treatments, medications and health promotion measures".