Liverpool City Council’s public health team has secured £5 million of national funding to deliver a data-led approach to tackling inequalities.
The money, from the Department of Health and Social Care, through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), will be used to create a Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC).
Liverpool is one of eleven new areas to benefit from the scheme, which will fund research to better understand and introduce interventions to help tackle health inequalities and wider deprivation, looking at issues such as such as neighbourhood working, housing, and leisure.
The aim of the HDRCs is to help to stimulate economic growth and regeneration in some of the most deprived areas of the country and contribute to reducing pressure on NHS services by improving public health.
The Council will be supported by the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, Healthwatch Liverpool and the business sector, using their capacity and research expertise.
The programme will go live in 2024.
Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Ruth Bennett, said:
“The programme will help us carry out work to understand the specific challenges our communities face and then use this knowledge to come up with ways to tackle the issues and improve lives.
“This aligns with our move to a neighbourhood model of delivering services, tailoring the work we do to the specific needs of our communities.”
Professor Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, said:
“Liverpool faces huge challenges in relation to health inequalities and I am pleased that we have been able to secure funding to create a Health Determinants Research Collaboration.
“We have a huge amount of research expertise thanks to our excellent universities and strong partnerships across the health and community sectors, which puts us in a strong position to make a real difference.”
Professor Brian Ferguson, Director of the NIHR Public Health Research Programme, said:
“People living in communities across the country face major challenges that are impacting on their health. Once again, NIHR is taking a huge stride forward in empowering local government to develop research to improve their communities’ health and wellbeing.
“Continued HDRC innovation will boost partnerships between local government and the academic sector, enabling local authorities to make better evidence-informed decisions – critical given the current pressures on funding. We expect the HDRC areas to engage actively with their local communities to listen to people’s views and involve them appropriately in shaping and undertaking research.
“By focusing on the wider determinants of health such as employment, housing, education and the physical environment, the areas we are supporting have a tremendous opportunity to make a lasting impact on health inequalities and wider deprivation.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said:
“Everyone should have access to high quality health and social care services, no matter who you are or where you live.
“From Cornwall to Cumberland, these local projects, backed by £55 million in Government funding through the NIHR, will help ensure that vital research funding reaches our rural and coastal communities.”