16 March 2018
Lancaster University’s outstanding research aimed at reducing health inequalities -undertaken with local authority partners, local people and academic colleagues at Liverpool University - has been recognised by the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards.

These awards recognise work that has made a significant improvement to NHS and social care and to population health.

The public health theme within the NIHR Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care in the NW Coast (CLAHRC NWC) won an award for their Neighbourhood Resilience Programme in the category of Research For Wellbeing.

This was an acknowledgement of a massive team effort by academics at Lancaster and Liverpool, representatives from eight local authorities and residents in nine neighbourhoods in which the programme is being implemented.

The Neighbourhood Resilience Programme aims to contribute to reduced health inequalities by developing resilience in these neighbourhoods.

It adopts an innovative approach to resilience: treating neighbourhoods as ‘whole systems’ - comprising residents, private, public and third sector institutions, their staff and locally available resources.

Resilience is understood as a property of the interaction between all the actors in these systems – not just the local community – and the objective is to enhance the collective capacities of these neighbourhood systems to influence change that will improve the social determinants of health and reduce inequalities. 

CLAHRC NWC’s Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit (HIAT), the development of which was led by Dr Ana Porroche Escudero with input from many others, was finalist in the category of “Taking Research into Practice”.

The HIAT supports users to consider how the work they are developing (whether research, policy and/or practice) can better take account of the socio-economic causes of inequalities and emphasises the importance of  ensuring that appropriate members of the public are involved throughout the work.

Ultimately, the HIAT aims to stimulate more imaginative collaborative, multi-level and structural interventions within the clinical, social and healthcare fields that are above all equity sensitive.

Professor Popay leader of the work said:  “These nomination are a clear recognition of the tireless work undertaken over the past four years to contribute to a reduction in health inequalities by everyone involved including staff in universities, local authorities, and NHS organisations and ordinary people in neighbourhoods across the region”.