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Children stand in a line wearing boots covered in mud. Kentown Children’s Palliative Care Programme review.

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Kentown Children’s Palliative Care Programme review to be led by Edge Hill University researchers

December 19, 2022

Researchers at Edge Hill University have been appointed to lead a three-year evaluation examining the impact of a new groundbreaking children’s palliative care programme.

The Kentown Children’s Palliative Care Programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria was set up earlier this year to better meet the needs of children with life limiting conditions and their families by co-ordinating services, avoiding duplication and increasing awareness of support available.

The evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the community focused model of care adopted as part of the programme, including the differences in the experiences of children with life limiting conditions and their families, as well as the professionals supporting them.

During the evaluation, which will run until August 2025, researchers will also consider the potential for the programme to be rolled out across the rest of the UK.  

Dr Katherine Knighting, Reader in Palliative and Supportive Care and lead for the evaluation, said: “We are delighted to be evaluating this innovative programme which has the needs of children and their families at its heart. Commissioners, children’s palliative care providers and families have been involved in the development of the programme which aims to build on established children’s palliative care and support services to support delivery of the right care to families, when and where they need it.

“We look forward to engaging with the project team, services, and families to assess and demonstrate the benefits and changes arising from the Kentown programme, as well as the longer-term impact for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.”

The inter-disciplinary team of researchers, Dr Katherine Knighting, Professor Bernie Carter, Professor Axel Kaehne and Dr Julie Feather, are based in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine and the Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit at Edge Hill.

The team will undertake an evaluation including a series of interviews with Kentown staff, children, young people and parents, workshops and focus groups with key Kentown Programme stakeholders.

Ultimately, they will assess and measure the benefits and changes arising from the programme and the longer-term impact it has for children and their families.

Professor Bernie Carter, Professor of Children’s Nursing, said: “It’s a privilege to be part of the evaluation team of this important programme and I look forward to seeing how the programme unfolds and reaches out to children and their families.”

Professor Axel Kaehne, Director of the Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit added: “We are looking forward to assessing the impact of this important new initiative in palliative care provision in the region which undoubtedly will contribute to future strategic service development in the field.”

Working with health and social care services across the Lancashire and South Cumbria region, the Kentown Programme offers a model of care that builds on established children’s palliative care and support services.

Funded by The Kentown Wizard Foundation, based in Blackpool, the Kentown Programme is a collaboration between Together for Short Lives, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and The Kentown Wizard Foundation.

To find out more about the Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit at Edge Hill visit: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/research/epau/

To find out more about the Kentown programme please visit: https://www.kentownsupport.org.uk/

December 19, 2022

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