Improving Public Health and Reducing Health Inequalities

Our public health theme has been co-designed by and is directly managed by our local authority (LA) partners to support them to deliver their statutory responsibilities to improve the health of their populations and reduce inequalities in health.  

The theme management group is jointly chaired by an LA representative and the theme’s academic lead. 

The theme's neighbourhood resilience programme is based in our network of 10 relatively disadvantaged neighbourhoods for learning and it aims to enhance resilience in these neighbourhoods by using evidence from research alongside the experiential knowledge of the people who live and work there to address upstream social, economic and/or environmental drivers of health inequalities.   The CLAHRC NWC Improving Public Health Programme provides a valuable opportunity for joint working  between residents, local workers and policy makers and other local stakeholders.  

If you would like to find out more about our work in this area, please contact the Theme Leader, Professor Jennie Popay via or Hannah Chadburn via / 01524 593377 (Programme Administrator)

Research BITES

Social Isolation and Loneliness - A review of the evidence

Assessing the effectiveness of Selective Licensing in England - A review of the evidence 


Barr Ben, Higgerson James, Whitehead Margaret. Investigating the impact of the English health inequalities strategy: time trend analysis BMJ 2017; 358 :j3310

Martin Whiteford, Glenn Simpson, (2016) "“There is still a perception that homelessness is a housing problem”: devolution, homelessness and health in the UK", Housing, Care and Support, Vol. 19 Issue: 2, pp.33-44,  

Porroche-Escudero, A. 2016. "Empoderamiento: el santo grial de las campañas de cáncer de mama". RIS, 74 (2): e031.  

A. Problematizando la desinformación en las campañas de concienciación sobre el cáncer de mama. Gaceta Sanitaria. 2017 Feb 2. Available from,
DOI: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.11.003

Ohly H, Crossland N, Dykes F, et al A realist review to explore how low-income pregnant women use food vouchers from the UK’s Healthy Start programme BMJ Open 2017;7:e013731.
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013731

Higgerson J, et al. Impact of free access to leisure facilities and community outreach on inequalities in physical activity: a quasi-experimental study J Epidemiol Community Health 2018;0:1–7. doi:10.1136/jech-2017-209882 

Popay J, Simpson G, Ring A, Porroche-Escudero A, Barr B, Holt V et al. Improving health and reducing health inequalities through a systems resilience approach Morecambe Bay Medical Journal, Spring 2018, Volume 7, Number 12.

United Kingdom (England). Supporting local systems to tackle the social determinants of health inequalities Authors: Professor Jennie Popay , Dr Ana Porroche Escudero, in: Health 2020 priority area four: creating supportive environments and resilient communities: A compendium of inspirational examples. Editor: E. Ziglio.

Mosedale S, Simpson G, Popay J et al Tackling vulnerability to debt. Affordable lending alternatives and financial education: an evidence review Journal of Poverty and Social Justice Vol 27 01 August 2018

Higgerson J, Halliday E, Ortiz-Nunez A, Barr B: The impact of free access to swimming pools on children’s participation in swimming. A comparative regression discontinuity study, Journal of Public Health, , fdy079, 

Porroche-Escudero, A. Health, Culture and Society Conceptual Legacies and Contemporary Applications (BOOK)


Research Summaries

Credit unions: reducing vulnerability to debt

Tracing absentee private sector landlords

Local action to address littering & fly tipping in the UK

Rapid Reviews

Local action to improve neighbourhood air quality (November 2017)

Tracing absentee landlords: A rapid review of the evidence (December 2017)

Vulnerability to Managing Debt Review (November 2017)

"Buddying" as an intervention to support individuals to access new places or engage in new activities (December 2017) 

Reviewing the evidence: Local government and resilience in an era of austerity (December 2017)

Local action to address littering and fly tipping in the UK (October 2018)

Graphic Artwork 

What's your story?  May 1, 2018  

(Residents from Haslingden investigate how 'social connectedness' affects wellbeing and health inequalities in their community).