Our Institute is committed to ensuring women and children have access to the best possible mental and physical healthcare and interventions.
The foundations of lifelong health are built in utero, at birth and in childhood. We know that the physical and mental health of the mother adversely affects both the fetus and child, however the health of women and children have traditionally been treated as separate disciplines.
We believe that improving health outcomes in childhood, and on into adulthood, requires a different approach, one that recognises and addresses the link between women’s and children’s health.
We seek to address the most important healthcare needs and improve outcomes for women and children in our local area and share learning and improvements nationally and internationally.
Despite significant advances in healthcare over the past decades, women and children still face suboptimal health outcomes. Inequalities in the health system are often a key driver of poor health, particularly in the UK and US where wealth disparities are pervasive. The UK has one of the most advanced health systems in the world, but some of the worst health deprivation indicators in Europe.
Infant mortality is seen as a key indicator of the overall health of a country. In recent years, progress in reducing infant mortality in the UK has stalled. Nationally, prevention of ill health is decreasing, and the levels of obesity and child poverty are increasing; and maternity and neonatal health are clinical priority areas in the NHS Long Term Plan. These priorities were identified as areas in which outcomes are poorer those of other advanced healthcare systems and where there exists an opportunity to make an impact on population health. Economic deprivation correlates strongly with adverse health outcomes and the COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed and amplified health inequalities.
We want to ensure every woman and child has the best possible opportunities for health and life. Our work shines a light on the everyday health and equity of local women and children, just as much as we focus on rare diseases. Together with new ways of working between clinical staff and researchers, we accelerate research translation into health benefit. We direct our efforts especially towards diverse populations with unmet needs and improve lifelong health for patients, populations, and communities.
To get in touch with the Institute and learn more about our work, please email KHP-IWCH@kcl.ac.uk.