Born in Bradford's Better Start (BiBBS)

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Born in Bradford’s Better Start (BiBBS) is an innovative experimental birth cohort that will simultaneously evaluate the impact of multiple early life interventions using efficient study designs. Better Start Bradford (BSB) has been allocated £49 million from the Big Lottery Fund to implement 22 interventions to improve outcomes for children aged 0–3 in three deprived and ethnically diverse inner-city areas of Bradford. BiBBS aims to evaluate the effects of these interventions on social and emotional development, communication and language development, and nutrition and obesity by following families from pregnancy into childhood and using linkage to routinely collected data.

National Health Service (NHS)

Geographic coverage - Nations

Geographic coverage - Regions

Start date

Catalogue record last updated


Sample type
Birth cohort

Sample details
The BiBBS study's sample size is aimed to be 5,000 pregnancies and children born of these pregnancies, with recruitment ongoing from January 2016-2024 from the three BSB areas. The BSB areas are very ethnically diverse, have higher rates of mortality and morbidity, infant mortality, obesity and poor oral health compared with Bradford district and England. All pregnant women living in BSB areas who are registered to give birth at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) will be eligible for recruitment. The BTHFT is the only maternity unit covering this area. All babies born to women who have consented to participate in the cohort study will be included in the cohort. The partners of the women who have consented to take part will also be invited to participate.

A system has been developed to flag all women living in the BSB areas on the electronic maternity system. When women attend their first appointment (around 10–12 weeks gestation), the BSB flag will prompt midwives to provide women with information on BSB and the BiBBS cohort study and obtain verbal assent to data sharing with the BiBBS research team. Researchers will identify eligible women who have provided assent to data sharing, and will approach women during the GTT clinic or other appointment to invite them to participate in the cohort.

Sample size at recruitment
Expected: 4,930 babies, 4,440 mothers and 1,125 of their mothers' partners (Dickerson et al. 2016). Recruitment is ongoing.

Sample size at most recent sweep


Age at recruitment

Cohort year of birth


Data access
Baseline data collection is ongoing

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data
Education data
Environmental data
Health data

Additional information


Related themes
Covid-19 data collection, Biomarkers, Diet and nutrition, Socioeconomic status and deprivation, Language and literacy, Loneliness and social isolation, Migration and immigration, Neighbourhood, Physical health assessment, Work and employment, Parenting and family, Social care - receipt, Social care - need

Key Papers

Born in Bradford’s Better Start: an experimental birth cohort study to evaluate the impact of early life interventions.

Big Lottery Fund
Mental health measures timeline

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