The following studies are being carried out at the Somerset Foundation Trust.


Qol-Pox- Quality of Life Effects of Chickenpox on Children and their Families

Chickenpox is a very common illness that almost all children catch before the age of five.  For most it is a short illness with an itchy spotty rash but no long lasting effects, but some children will need admitting to hospital.  There are very effective vaccines against chickenpox that are used in many other countries.  We don’t use them in the UK because we don’t have enough information of the effects of having chickenpox on children and their families.  This study collects data on children most severely affected by chickenpox to help decide if the vaccine should be used in the future.

ITP Registry

1 in 25,0000 children are diagnosed with ITP, the same as in acute leukaemia.  ITP – Immune thrombocytopenia  is a blood condition characterised by a low platelet count. The platelet count drops because antibodies produced by the patient coat the platelets which are then recognised as abnormal and are removed from the blood stream by the normal body protection systems. There are many aspects of ITP that we do not fully understand, for instance why do people suddenly start producing antibodies against their own platelets, why do children with very low platelet counts rarely have serious bleeding, why some children get better quickly and others have a more long term disorder. We would also like to know more about the very best treatment for children with ITP.

To help us answer these questions we want to collect information about children with ITP in the UK in a systematic way to create a collection of information (or registry). This will form part of an international registry (PARC, Paediatric and Adult intercontinental Registry on Chronic ITP).

The main aims of this project are  to try and understand when and why children with a low platelet count bleed, when and why there is a need for treatment and how having ITP impacts on the quality of life on the child and family.

To see how information gathered so far has been used to understand treatment in the UK for children with ITP please see the following link

For more information on the study please visit

Recruitment End Date: 01/04/2026

CF Start – The cystic fibrosis (CF) anti-staphylococcal antibiotic prophylaxis trial (CF START); a randomised registry trial to assess the safety and efficacy of flucloxacillin as a long-term prophylaxis agent for infants with CF.

The aim of the CF START trial is to determine the safest and most effective way to treat infants diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) with antibiotics.  At the moment, infants in the UK are prescribed an antibiotic, usually flucloxacillin, every day to prevent infection with a bacteria (bug) called Staphylococcus aureus (SA).

Although this approach appears to help prevent SA infection, there is a worry that it may make earlier infection with other bugs, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PsA) more likely.

This trial is designed to test if infants with CF are more likely to get an earlier  infection from PsA if they are taking flucloxacillin on a daily basis (“Prevent and Treat”) or antibiotics in a more targeted manner (“Detect and Treat”).

Closing date:  31/07/2025

JSLE – Juvenile-onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Juvenile Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (JSLE) (commonly referred to as Lupus or Childhood Lupus) is a chronic autoimmune disease in children that can affect any part of the body including skin, joints and of the major organs. JSLE can be very variable in how it presents, with some children having a mild disease and others having a very severe disease (e.g. developing kidney failure or brain abnormalities).

Despite advances in our understanding of JSLE, the cause remains unknown. Both genetic and environmental factors appear to lead to over-activation of parts of the body’s own immune system. This leads to the immune system attacking different parts of the body, leading to the symptoms of JSLE. The UK JSLE Cohort Study is investigating the clinical characteristics and immunopathology of JSLE and regularly collects clinical data from patients participating in the study as well as biological specimens such as blood and urine.


End Date: 29/02/2024