GOSH Charity and the True Colours Trust are delighted to announce a £500,000 five-year funding partnership towards the research programme of Professor Ulrika Kreicbergs, the new Chair in Palliative Care for Children and Young People at the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UCL GOS-ICH).
Professor Kreicbergs is only the second person in the UK to hold this position, taking over from Professor Myra Bluebond-Langner, the inaugural True Colours Chair. To reflect the position’s role in the wider Louis Dundas Centre and its new funding model, the name of the post has been changed from the True Colours Chair to the Louis Dundas Chair.
The Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care (LDC) is a centre of excellence in research, teaching and clinical practice in palliative care for children and young people. It was set up in 2009 by Ruth Kennedy, in memory of her son Louis Dundas, who tragically died of a brain tumour in 2008.
The number of children with palliative care needs in the UK is continuing to rise. Research published in 2020 by the University of York showed that the number of children with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, in England alone, had increased from 32,975 in 2001/2 to 86,625 in 2017/18 . Research into children’s palliative care is therefore essential to meet the growing need for services, ensuring that children and families receive the best possible quality of care.
Our joint funding will help Professor Kreicbergs to realise her vision to:
“build a research team, with strong links to everyday clinical work,focused on improving paediatric palliative care by exploring gaps in knowledge and identifying avoidable and/or modifiable factors in health care and family life to mitigate suffering of all involved”
We are thrilled to be able to support the next phase of academic leadership, and a new generation of researchers in children’s palliative care in the UK, which we know will benefit children and families in the UK and beyond.
Lucy Sainsbury, Chair and Founder of the True Colours Trust says:
“We are delighted to be able to support Professor Ulrika Kreicbergs research to ensure that children and families get the best possible, evidence-based care. We are excited by Ulrika’s vision to build a strong and vibrant research team, ensuring links between clinicians and academics. We look forward to working together in this next stage of the development of children’s palliative care in the UK."
Louise Parkes, CEO of GOSH Charity says:
"Seriously ill children travel to GOSH from across the UK for specialist, dedicated care. The hospital and its staff do absolutely incredible work to change and even save the lives of so many children, but very sadly there are some conditions for which there is not yet a cure."
“It’s really important that the care provided to children at the end of their lives is supported, just as there is support for children undergoing ongoing treatment at the hospital."
“We’re proud to have worked together with Ruth Kennedy and Bruce Dundas and the True Colours Trust to support them in the establishment of the Louis Dundas Centre and the Chair, and to be celebrating its ongoing dedication to children by supporting the research of Professor Kreicbergs who will drive forward this important work in the future."
About Professor Ulrika Kreicbergs
Professor Kreicbergs is a distinguished Professor of paediatric palliative care. Her early clinical work as a nurse in paediatric oncology led to her research on children and families affected by cancer. She completed her doctoral studies at the Karolinska Hospital, Sweden, before moving to the Phyllis Cantor Center at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), in Boston, United States, to complete her post-doctoral studies. In 2014, she was appointed Professor of Palliative Care for Children and Youth at the Marie Cederschiӧld University, Sweden, and has stayed in post until her recent move to London.
Professor Kreicbergs has a wealth of teaching experience in the palliative care research field, having mentored both post-doctoral and doctoral students – two of whom are now Professors themselves. She has also taught evidence-based care to nurses clinically active in paediatric oncology wards at the DFCI and Boston Children’s Hospital. Professor Kreicbergs has an extensive network both within the academic and clinical world. She has been influential in the development of paediatric oncology nursing at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital in Sweden, and the creation of Scandinavia’s first paediatric hospice – Lilla Erstagården. She has also served as an expert in paediatric palliative care on Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare.