£50m to tackle health inequalities through research

  • 50 million granted to 13 local authorities across the UK – from Aberdeen to Plymouth – to tackle inequalities and improve public health
  • As part of the government’s commitment to drive growth, improve the nation’s health, and empower people to live longer, healthier lives, regardless of background or where they live

People are set to benefit from a £50million research boost to tackle health inequalities in local areas and improve health outcomes across the country.

The significant investment, overseen by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), will enable 13 local authorities to establish pioneering Determinants of Health Research (HDRC) collaborations between experts and academics to fill knowledge gaps in local areas.

This will enable new, high quality research into local challenges affecting people’s health – such as facilitating research to better understand and introduce interventions to help with childhood obesity, Covid recovery, wellbeing mental and drug use.

Local authorities across the UK are receiving funding – from Plymouth and London to Newcastle and Aberdeen – to ensure health disparities are addressed at all levels.

It is a key part of the government’s plan for patients by helping people stay healthy and in the community, easing pressure on health and care services and enabling people to access care what they need, when they need it.

Minister of State for Health Robert Jenrick said:

The pandemic has brought to light the stark health inequalities that exist across the country – we are committed to improving the health of the nation.

This funding will enable progress in addressing health issues at the local level, particularly in places and communities most affected by health issues such as high levels of obesity, drug use and poor mental health. .

Everyone should be able to live a long and healthy life, regardless of their background and where they live, and this new research will help us achieve our ambition.

This is the first time that health disparities research funding has been given to local authorities to carry out innovative new projects within their communities, signaling the government’s commitment to level.

Each collaboration will be set up in partnership between universities and local government, capitalizing on the experience and cutting-edge skills of the university community. This will support the development of better data and evidence to inform local decisions to improve people’s health and reduce variations in healthy life expectancy between rich and poor.

The funding will also help spur economic growth across the country – particularly in some of the most disadvantaged regions – by creating new research jobs, as well as identifying local solutions to some of the key challenges. our society is facing, such as obesity and poverty. mental well-being.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said:

Millions of people living in UK cities and regions face a vast array of public health challenges, made even more acute during the Covid pandemic. Through the NIHR, this much-needed research funding will provide a foundation to galvanize the capacity and ability of local authorities to conduct high-quality research.

I am always personally struck by how people working in local government have the added benefit of knowing their region and their community. This investment will allow them to embed a lasting legacy of research culture to help local people make huge strides in addressing health inequities.

Professor Brian Ferguson, director of the NIHR’s public health research program, said:

Many people living in communities across the country face major challenges that impact their health. Our new HDRCs will serve as nationally recognized centers of excellence, building local government’s ability to meet these challenges by enabling respite to become more active in research.

This is an extremely important step forward in one of the NIHR’s primary goals of helping local governments develop research that improves health and well-being. By focusing on the broader determinants of health such as employment, housing, education and the physical environment, the areas we support have a tremendous opportunity to have a lasting impact on health inequalities and wider deprivations.

Professor Jim McManus, president of the British Association of Chief Public Health Officers, said:

We know that health inequities are one of the biggest barriers facing communities across the country, especially for disadvantaged groups and regions.

HDRCs will help boost the culture of research in local government, building on the local knowledge authorities already have and will make it easier to research and assess what is being done to make a difference to people. local.

In addition to research funding, staff working in the health and social care sector will be better equipped to tackle health inequalities starting today, following the release of a new resource from e-learning developed by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and Health Education England (HEE).

The self-access module brings together succinct learning about what health inequalities are, and the actions and interventions that frontline staff, leaders and commissioners can take to address them in their daily work.

It has already been proven to give users an in-depth understanding of health inequalities and how they can be addressed, helping to improve quality of life while reducing costs to the NHS and benefiting the community. whole economy.

Background information

  • HDRCs officially began on October 1, 2022, with three of the 13 undertaking further development work to enable HDRC status by October 1, 2023.
  • This funding comes from existing research funding streams.
  • CRDH funded:
  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Doncaster Council
  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Bradford City Metropolitan District Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Coventry City Council
  • Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council **
  • The London Borough of Lambeth
  • Medway Council **
  • Islington Council **
  • ** these three areas are receiving development grants in 2022/23 with a view to becoming full HDRCs in 2023/24.
  • The Health Disparities and Health Inequalities resource complements the more than 30 existing modules of the All Our Health curriculum, covering a range of public health topics including cardiovascular disease prevention, childhood obesity and air pollution.
  • For more information and to access the latest resource in the All Our Health collection, please select the Health Disparities and Health Inequalities session on the All Our Health eLearning page or visit GOV.UK.

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