Tackling Health Inequalities

LiLaC aims to produce evidence for public health actions that will tackle avoidable inequalities in health

School for Public Health Research

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National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: North West Coast 

CLAHRC NWC is a collaboration between the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Central Lancashire, Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS organisations and local authorities across the North West Coast region. CLAHRC NWC seeks to tackle health inequalities and the socioeconomic drivers of these inequalities by supporting critical conversations and collaborations between a range of local and national organisations.

The collaboration is committed to ensuring that all its research and development activities contribute to reducing inequalities. To do this, the Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit (HIAT) has been developed: (HIAT http://hiat.org.uk/). Training in the use of the HIAT has been provided and the toolkit is now being used by NHS and LA partners of CLAHRC NWC and beyond.    

CLAHRC NWC Improving Public Health Theme: Neighbourhood Resilience Programme (NRP)

The Neighbourhood Resilience Programme (NRP) led by Jennie Popay at Lancaster University and Ben Barr at Liverpool University, focuses on the wider social, economic and environmental determinants of health inequalities. To adopt a systems-resilience approach, the programme focuses on ‘action to enhance the personal and collective capacity of people and institutions to respond to and influence the course of social, economic and environmental change’ (Collusi, 2000). The NRP is managed by representatives from nine local authorities (LAs) and university partners. A number of academics at the universities of Liverpool and Lancaster are supporting the programme, including LiLaC co-director Margaret Whitehead.

The programme is taking place in nine neighbourhoods for learning (NsfL) - identified by local authority partners as areas experiencing socioeconomic and health disadvantage. A review of UK local authority resilience-based policies and initiatives at the start of the programme informed the development of the Neighbourhood Resilience Framework. The framework comprises four domains: The living environment, economic systems, social relationships and community governance. Across the nine NsfL, local authority partners, local stakeholders (including community and voluntary organisations and residents), have been working with university partners to identify local priority areas where positive change could be enabled through collaborative action.  

CLAHRC NWC Household Survey data and participatory inquiries undertaken by local residents also contributed to inform the focus of work going forward. Across the neighbourhoods, activities have been focused across a range of actions to improve: the quality of private rental accommodation, the local environment (including public spaces, the high street, road safety and acceptability and access to local resources), access to money management advice and work to address employment vulnerability and increase social cohesion and reducing social isolation. 

For detailed examples of initiatives download the WHO case study

For further information about the North West Coast CLAHRC visit https://www.clahrc-nwc.nihr.ac.uk

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