• Assessing the medium-term impact of a home-visiting programme on child maltreatment in England: protocol for a routine data linkage study.

      Ludd-Widger, Fiona V.; Cannings-John, Rebecca; Channon, Sue; Fitzsimmons, Deborah; Hood, Kerenza; Jones, Kerina H.; Kemp, Alison; Kenkre, Joyce; Longo, Mirella; McEwan, Kirsten; et al. (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 2017-05-03)
      ABSTRACT Introduction Child maltreatment involves acts of omission (neglect) or commission (abuse) often by caregivers that results in potential or actual harm to a child. The Building Blocks trial (ISRCTN23019866) assessed the short-term impact of an intensive programme of antenatal and postnatal visiting by specially trained nurses to support young pregnant women in England. The Building Blocks: 2–6 Study will assess the medium-term impacts of the programme for mothers and children (n=1562), through the linkage of routinely collected data to the trial data, with a particular emphasis on the programme’s impact on preventing child maltreatment. Methods and analysis We have developed a bespoke model of data linkage whereby outcome data for the trial cohort will be retrieved by linked anonymous data abstraction from NHS Digital, Office for National Statistics and the Department for Education’s National Pupil Database. Participants will be given reasonable opportunity to opt out of this study prior to data transfer. The information centres will match participants to the information held in their databases using standard identifiers and send extracts to a third-party safe haven. The study will have 80% power to detect a 4% difference (4%vs8%) for the binary primary outcome of child in need status (from birth to key stage 1) at a two-sided 5% alpha level by following up 602 children in each trial arm. Analysis will be by intention to treat using logistic multilevel modelling. A cost-and-consequences analysis will extend the time frame of the economic analysis from the original trial. Ethics and dissemination The study protocol has been approved by the National Health Service Wales Research Ethics Committee and the Health Research Authority’s Confidentiality Advisory Group. Methods of innovative study design and findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals and conferences; results will be of interest to clinical and policy stakeholders in the UK.
    • Availability of breastfeeding peer-support in the UK: a cross-sectional survey.

      Grant, Aimee; McEwan, Kirsten; Tedstone, Sally; Greene, Giles; Copeland, Lauren; Hunter, Billie; Sanders, Julia; Phillips, Rhiannon; Brown, Amy; Robling, Mike; et al. (Wiley, 2017-07-07)
      Peer support is recommended by the World Health Organization for the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding, and this recommendation is included in United Kingdom (U.K.) guidance. There is a lack of information about how, when, and where breastfeeding peer support was provided in the U.K. We aimed to generate an overview of how peer support is delivered in the U.K. and to gain an understanding of challenges for implementation. We surveyed all U.K. infant feeding coordinators (n = 696) who were part of U.K.‐based National Infant Feeding Networks, covering 177 National Health Service (NHS) organisations. We received 136 responses (individual response rate 19.5%), covering 102 U.K. NHS organisations (organisational response rate 58%). We also searched NHS organisation websites to obtain data on the presence of breastfeeding peer support. Breastfeeding peer support was available in 56% of areas. However, coverage within areas was variable. The provision of training and ongoing supervision, and peer‐supporter roles, varied significantly between services. Around one third of respondents felt that breastfeeding peer‐support services were not well integrated with NHS health services. Financial issues were commonly reported to have a negative impact on service provision. One quarter of respondents stated that breastfeeding peer support was not accessed by mothers from poorer social backgrounds. Overall, there was marked variation in the provision of peer‐support services for breastfeeding in the U.K. A more robust evidence base is urgently needed to inform guidance on the structure and provision of breastfeeding peer‐support services.