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Councils get £50m to research health inequality solutions

Pharmacy News

Councils get £50m to research health inequality solutions

Thirteen local authorities across the UK have been awarded a share of a £50m research fund to explore ways to reduce health inequalities.

The investment, which is overseen by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR), will allow the local authorities to establish health determinants research collaborations (HDRCs) with “experts and academics” to tackle local knowledge gaps, said the Department of Health and Social Care in a statement today.

Research projects will aim to develop interventions for childhood obesity, Covid recovery, mental wellbeing and drug use.

The funding forms part of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, with the aim of providing “better data and evidence to inform local decisions to improve people’s health and reduce variations in healthy life expectance between rich and poor”.

Minister of state for health Robert Jenrick said: “The pandemic shone a light on the stark health inequalities that exist across the country – we are committed to levelling up the health of the nation.

“This funding will drive progress to address health challenges locally, particularly in the places and communities most affected by ill health such as high levels of obesity, drug use and poor mental health.

“Everyone should be able to live long, healthy lives regardless of their background and where they live, and this new research will help us deliver on our ambition.”

NIHR chief executive Lucy Chappell said: “Millions of people living in Britain’s towns, cities and regions face a huge range of public health challenges, brought into focus during the Covid pandemic. This NIHR research funding will provide a foundation to develop local authorities’ capacity and capability to conduct high-quality research.

“It’s clear that people working in local government have the added advantage of knowing their local areas and communities.

“This investment will equip them to embed a lasting legacy of research culture to help local populations take important steps forward in tackling health inequalities.”

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