Promoting Safer Sleep in Babies

Project outline



Dr Jenny Woodman, Senior Lecturer, Co-Director Children and Families Policy Research Unit, UCL

Professor Ruth Gilbert, Professor of Paediatrics, Co-Director of the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit, UCL

Dr Ruth McGovern, NIHR Post Doctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer in Public Health Research, Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University (NENC ARC)

Dr Anna Pease, Research Fellow, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol  

Professor Peter Fleming, Professor of Infant Health & Developmental Physiology, University of Bristol

Other collaborators: Prof Eileen Kaner (Behavioural Science PRU and North East and North Cumbria (NENC ARC)

Description of the Project:

The 2020 Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel report on SUDI notifications (the ‘Out of Routine’ report) recommended that behavioural insights and models of behaviour change should be investigated for their potential to successfully promote safe sleep practices among parents whose children are at risk of SUDI. 

This 12-month study, which is being conducted as part of the Responsive Facility within the NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit (CPRU), will produce evidence on adaptations to ways of working by statutory services to promote safe sleeping practices in families with children known to be at risk or significant harm. 

Specifically, we will be undertaking secondary data analysis and a component analysis to identify the relevant behaviours necessary to prevent SUDI associated with situational or out-of-routine risk in families with an infant who is at significant risk of harm, and effective models of behavioural change and behaviour change components to promote safe sleeping in this particular group of parents. 

We will also be undertaking significant stakeholder work including in-depth interviews with service providers and recipients to generate a practice model for supporting families whose children are at risk of significant harm to increase safe infant sleeping, including in out of routine situations, in addition to the pathways to embed it within multiagency service provision based on the ‘Prevent and Protect’ practice model outlined in the Out of Routine report. 

This research is being hosted by NIHR Children and Families Policy Research Unit, UCL.