The collaboration aims to develop closer links between researchers from Fuse: the Centre for Translational Research in Public health and the Council, to improve the skills in research and evaluation within its Public Health team and increase awareness among the academics of the evidence and evaluation needs in the Local Authority.
The partnership will initially focus on the evaluation of the 'Live Well Gateshead' programme, with the aim of applying the learning to other projects within the Public Health department.
Live Well Gateshead supports individuals, families and communities to improve their health and wellbeing by reducing health inequalities through improved service integration and by moving resources towards prevention and early intervention and away from avoidable treatment and care.
Dr Mandy Cheetham (pictured), Research Associate at Teesside University and member of the Fuse Translational Research programme, will develop the evaluation research at the Council over the next 12 months. She said: "I see embedded research as an approach with huge potential in public health. In working alongside Local Authority colleagues, to jointly evaluate Live Well Gateshead, and help identify what works, for whom, under what conditions, I hope to inform future planning and delivery, and drive forward understanding of how embedded research can work."
The approach fits well with a number of projects within Fuse and therefore the evaluation will be able to draw on a range of expertise within the Public Health Centre of Excellence to support the research.
Carole Wood, Gateshead Council's Director of Public Health, said: "I am delighted that we are taking forward this programme, which brings together academic research and public health practice to help us develop the evidence base and shared understanding of the most effective ways of improving health outcomes for local people.
"By Mandy working as researcher actually embedded within our team, she will bring expertise, links and resources to help us evaluate public health programmes such as the Live Well Programme. There is added benefit for the public health team and potentially the Council, of expanding and developing research and evaluation skills and helping to support new ways of thinking about tackling public health challenges."
Prof Ashley Adamson, Director of Fuse and Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Newcastle University, said: "This is a really exciting opportunity and central to the mission of Fuse. We are delighted to work collaboratively with Gateshead Council Public Health on this innovative model and to support an important local and regional public health issue.
"The programme of work is a unique development opportunity for Fuse researchers to help them gain a better understanding of the use of evidence within the Council and how to increase the uptake of research evidence in public health decision making."
A longer-term collaboration is envisioned that will support the development of future joint bids on other topics, such as malnutrition, child obesity and social prescribing.
Rosemary Rushmer, Professor in Knowledge Exchange & Public Health at Teesside University, is providing Mandy with academic support and the role is part of the Fuse translational research programme which Professor Rushmer leads.
About Live Well Gateshead
‘Live Well Gateshead’, which was launched in October 2014, adopts an integrated wellness model, providing a proactive, preventive approach that emphasises the whole person and which works to achieve optimum levels of physical, mental, social and emotional health. Good nutrition, healthy weight, exercise, increased resilience, active social networks and avoiding risk factors such as tobacco use and alcohol misuse are seen as part of this approach. Live Well Gateshead recognises the impact of the social determinants of health and explicitly seeks to address these, such as food and fuel poverty, debt problems, poor housing and unemployment.
Last modified: Wed, 02 Dec 2015 11:27:20 GMT