Pioneer Research Post in Child Health; the Puffin Appeal

Article excerpt

TREATMENT of children's breathing problems in the region is set to be boosted by the appointment of a chair in respiratory paediatrics at a North University.

The Journal-backed Puffin Appeal, an effort to raise pounds 2m for a new childhood respiratory department in Newcastle, will cover the costs of the role for five years and, it has now been confirmed, Newcastle University will make the role a permanent one after that.

The person appointed will have a mix of academic and clinical responsibilities, leading research into breathing conditions and applying their findings to patients in the region's hospitals.

He or she will be based at the recently named Great North Children's Hospital on the site of the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The research will be taking place in labs just yards from where patients are being treated and it is hoped the service will improve as a result. Dr David Spencer, consultant in respiratory paediatrics at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary: "The main thing is to foster and develop research in children's chest diseases.

"We expect that this would be related to researching the causes and effects of infections on the lungs in children.

"Children's lungs are immature and developing so sometimes more prone to infection.

"But they are also more able to recover after an infection.

"We hope that we can build good research foundations. The Puffin Appeal will pay the costs of a chair for five years.

The person would then take the post as a permanent post and would have a salary at the university. …

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