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)


Adams NL, Rose TC, Elliot AJ, Smith G, Morbey R, Loveridge P, Lewis J, Studdard G, Violato M, O'Brien SJ, Whitehead M. Social patterning of telephone health-advice for diarrhoea and vomiting: analysis of 24 million telehealth calls in England. Journal of Infection. 2019 Feb 1;78(2):95-100.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jinf.2018.09.008

Barr B, Higgerson J, Whitehead M. Investigating the impact of the English health inequalities strategy: time trend analysis. bmj. 2017 Jul 26;358:j3310.
DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j3310

Currie J, Castillo MG, Adekanmbi V, Barr B, O’Flaherty M. Evaluating effects of recent changes in NHS resource allocation policy on inequalities in amenable mortality in England, 2007–2014: time-series analysis. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2019 Feb 1;73(2):162-7.
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2018-211141

Giebel C, McIntyre JC, Daras K, Gabbay M, Downing J, Pirmohamed M, Walker F, Sawicki W, Alfirevic A, Barr B. What are the social predictors of accident and emergency attendance in disadvantaged neighbourhoods? Results from a cross-sectional household health survey in the north west of England. BMJ open. 2019 Jan 1;9(1):e022820.
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022820

Green MA, Daras K, Davies A, Barr B, Singleton A. Developing an openly accessible multi-dimensional small area index of ‘access to healthy assets and hazards’ for Great Britain, 2016. Health & place. 2018 Nov 1;54:11-9.
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.08.019

Halliday E, Popay J, Anderson de Cuevas R, Wheeler P. The elephant in the room? Why spatial stigma does not receive the public health attention it deserves. Journal of Public Health. 2018 Dec 20.
DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy214

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. 2018 May 14.
DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy079

Higgerson J, Halliday E, Ortiz-Nunez A, Brown R, Barr B. Impact of free access to leisure facilities and community outreach on inequalities in physical activity: a quasi-experimental study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2018 Mar 1;72(3):252-8.
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209882

Mosedale S, Simpson G, Popay J, McGill R, Cooper P, Taylor C, Fisher K, Sant H. Tackling vulnerability to debt. Affordable lending alternatives and financial education: an evidence review. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. 2018 Oct 26;26(3):315-33.
DOI: 10.1332/175982718X15299593316586

Ohly H, Crossland N, Dykes F, Lowe N, Hall-Moran V. A realist review to explore how low-income pregnant women use food vouchers from the UK’s Healthy Start programme. BMJ open. 2017 Apr 1;7(4):e013731.
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013731

Popay JM, Porroche-Escudero A. Supporting local systems to tackle the social determinants of health inequalities. In: Ziglio E. Health 2020 priority area four: creating supportive environments and resilient communities. A compendium of inspirational examples. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, pp. 123-133. ISBN 9789289053235

Popay JM, Simpson G, Ring A, Porroche-Escudero A, Barr B, Holt VL, Mosedale S, Sadler G, Wheeler P. Improving health and reducing health inequalities through a systems resilience approach. Morecambe Bay Medical Journal. 2018 Mar 1;7(12):292-4.

Porroche-Escudero A. Empoderamiento: el santo grial de las campañas de cáncer de mama [Empowerment: The holy grail of breast cancer campaigns]. Revista Internacional de Sociología. 2016 Jun 30;74(2):031.
DOI: 10.3989/ris.2016.74.2.031  

Porroche-Escudero A. Problematizando la desinformación en las campañas de concienciación sobre el cáncer de mama [Problematising disinformation in breast cancer awareness campaigns]. Gaceta sanitaria/Sanitary Gazette. 2017;31:250-2.
DOI: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.11.003

Ettorre E, Annandale E, Hildebrand VM, Porroche-Escudero A, Rothman BK. Health, culture and society: Conceptual Legacies and Contemporary Applications. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2017.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-60786-3

Whiteford M, Simpson G. “There is still a perception that homelessness is a housing problem”: devolution, homelessness and health in the UK. Housing, Care and Support. 2016 Jun 6;19(2):33-44.
DOI: 10.1108/HCS-06-2016-0003  


Research BITES

Social Isolation and Loneliness - A review of the evidence

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

Area reputation  and health inequalities - scoping the evidence

Research Summaries

Credit unions: reducing vulnerability to debt

Tracing absentee private sector landlords

Local action to address littering & fly tipping in the UK

Addressing vulnerability to debt –A review of the evidence

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)

Community Initiatives from CLAHRC NWC Resilience Programme

What's your story?  May 1, 2018  

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

Mossbay and Salterbeck residents share their experiences of job searching and employment (online booklet)

Stockbridge in Stories