Research centre to lead care

260816  Enjoying the outdoor play  equipment at Martin House Children's Hospice at Boston Spa.
260816 Enjoying the outdoor play equipment at Martin House Children's Hospice at Boston Spa.

Martin House Children’s Hospice and The University of York are to launch a revolutionary new multidisciplinary centre committed to leading research on the management, care and support of children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The Martin House Research Centre, led by York’s Department of Health Sciences in an innovative joint venture with the Boston Spa-based hospice, will conduct work focusing on the priorities of families and the professionals who care and work for them.

The Centre will bring together experts including academics from the Universities of York and Leeds, who will work with staff from Martin House, health and care professionals and researchers from the UK and beyond. The Centre will deliver evidence and expertise relevant to policy makers, health and care professionals and families.

Dr Lorna Fraser, Senior Lecturer in York’s Department of Health Sciences and Director of the Martin House Research Centre, said: “This is a very exciting, much-needed initiative which will allow us to undertake high quality research on areas that are important to children and young people with life-limiting conditions, their families and the clinicians caring for them.

“The outputs of the Centre’s research should be the evidence which will help to ensure that all children and families receive equitable, high quality care.”

Angela Monaghan, Chief Executive of Martin House Children’s Hospice, said: “As a hospice with a long-standing commitment to research, we are immensely excited about the launch of the Martin House Research Centre. 

“We are delighted that this exceptional new initiative will enable us to build a stronger evidence base by developing research in this challenging area, enabling us to make a real difference to children, young people and their families who need palliative care services and to the staff who care for them.”

Martin House provides family-led care and support for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and is currnetly helping over 420 families and 150 bereaved families across West, North and East Yorkshire at the hospice and at home.

The hospice, based in Boston Spa, has nine bedrooms in Martin House, and six in Whitby Lodge, which cares for teenagers and young adults up to the age of 30 (and sometimes beyond).

Services include respite stays, symptom control, emergency, community and end of life care.

Bereavement support is offered to families, often for two to three years after their child’s death.

There is no cost to any of the families using the services. The £6 million a year to provide this care, comes mainly from voluntary donations.