Better data to improve health and wellbeing

We have been reaching out to colleagues in local authorities and public health departments to highlight the value of research evidence in improving health and well being among local populations. The CLAHRC is forging useful links with our partners in local councils, bridging the gap between research and the front line.

Local authorities are a key audience for the CLAHRC as they are responsible for public health in their area. Public health includes prevention of illness and disease, sexual health and smoking cessation.

CLAHRC partners Islington and Camden Councils run lunchtime learning sessions for staff as part of their Using Data Better initiative. They invite speakers from various sectors to present the potential for data to improve health and health services for local residents. The boroughs have joined forces to deliver public health, and have a team of data analysts at work –  identifying issues that have a negative effect on people’s health, and planning to deal with those issues.

In October Dr Chiara De Poli (below left) presented to public health staff and analysts in the two Councils.  Chiara was joined by the CLAHRC’s Professor Gwyn Bevan and health economist Dr Elena Pizzo, presenting evidence of the limited impact of current policy options on the projected diabetes ‘epidemic’ in Islington, which stimulated a lively discussion about what Islington might do to tackle this.

Chiara’s work is part of a wider CLAHRC study, led by Professor Bevan, investigating the design of research and decision support processes to ensure the utility of research outputs. We are making efforts to make our research more “user friendly” and accessible to colleagues in the NHS and local government so they can use it in decision-making around planning and commissioning services and interventions for the populations they serve.

There was learning on both sides – our researchers got an insight into the challenges faced by staff on the front line and an appreciation of the type of data local authorities collect and analyse to improve health and well-being. We offered projections on the likely impact on diabetes prevention of current policies adopted by local authorities.

Feedback from our audience was extremely positive and we hope this is the start of a fruitful collaboration between the CLAHRC and the Public health teams within Islington and Camden.

“Once again, thanks for delivering a wonderful presentation – many of us were fascinated by your progress, and it’s no surprise that our head of dept. is now keen to collaborate further”

Mustafa Kamara, Intelligence & Information Analyst, Camden and Islington Public Health

Prof Peter Fonagy

Professor Fonagy is one of the key international figures in the evaluation of mental health interventions. He holds Chairs at UCL, Harvard, Yale and Baylor, and is a NIHR Senior Investigator. In the 1990’s, he co-led the NHS Review of Psychotherapies, evaluating all outcomes data which provided the basis for the radical policy change, Improved Access to evidence-based Psychological Therapies (IAPT), now an important part of the NHS mandate. The report ‘What Works for Whom’ has over 3,000 scholarly citations. Since 2010, he has led the Children and Young People’s Programme for IAPT and achieved a doubling of the Government’s financial commitment to this service transformation programme for CAMHS services to be restructured using evidence based, patient centred therapies. He is a key figure in developing NHS mental health strategy through NICE guidance and chaired the Depression in Children and Young People GDG and co-ordinated the prevention section of guidelines for Antisocial Personality Disorder and Conduct Disorder. He led the development of National Occupational Standards for Psychological Therapies and Chaired the Advisory Group leading to the introduction of routine outcomes assessment in mental health services (HoNOS). He served on several UK Government panels and on the Academic Advisory Board of the Presidential Commission on Violence Prevention, chaired panels at NIMH and the German Research Foundation, and was a UK representative on the Expert Psychological Panel of the European Science Foundation EIRH Programme. He is PI or co-PI on evaluation research programmes in excess of £15M, is Programme Director on the UCLP mental health programme and is leading the largest Clinical Psychology Department and training scheme in the UK, with 150 doctoral students.

Dr Chiara De Poli

Chiara De Poli is a Research Assistant, pursuing research on health service management. She holds an MSc in Public Management and a BSc in Public Management from Bocconi University, in Milan. Before joining LSE in 2011, Chiara worked in the field of evaluating EU co-funded programmes, both within academia and for a consulting firm in Italy.

 

Professor Gwyn Bevan

Gwyn Bevan is Professor of Policy Analysis and, from 2011 to 2013 was head of the Department of Management, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has worked as an academic at Warwick Business School and St Thomas’ Hospital and Bristol Medical Schools. He has also worked in industry, consulting, the Treasury, and for the Commission for Health Improvement (2001 to 2003), where he was Director of the Office for Information on Healthcare Performance.

Liz Simes

Liz is the Trial Coordinator for the i-THRIVE evaluation and is responsible for the coordination of the research project.

Liz has experience of quantitative and qualitative research, as well as research management and ethical governance in the NHS and criminal justice system.  She has coordinated research trials funded by the NIHR evaluating services for young people with conduct disorder and adults with antisocial personality disorder.  Liz has previously worked as a researcher working with hard to reach groups and is interested in developing evidence based practice for mental heath services for young people and adults.  Liz has an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from King’s College London, and is currently undertaking a PhD at UCL exploring the concept of service users as researchers, and the potential impact of this approach on randomised control trials.

Bethan Morris

Bethan is a research assistant working on the i-THRIVE Evaluation and is involved in the development of research tools and data collection. She has experience of conducting research across mental health services where the aim was to discover mental health professionals’ assessment of patient activation in clinical practice and their receptiveness to a formal measure of patient activation. Her career has also involved working in inpatient settings. Bethan has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Mental Health Studies.

Meghan Davis

Meghan is a research assistant working on the i-THRIVE Evaluation.  She has experience of conducting research on mental health in the Global South and has a strong interest in qualitative research as a tool for understanding how people access health services.

Meghan has a BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience as well as a Masters of Public Health.