Knowledge into practice: SPHR’s 4th Annual Scientific Meeting, 10 March 2016, Newcastle

Last month the whole of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) gathered together at The Centre for Life in Newcastle for their fourth Annual Scientific Meeting. The School’s academic researchers were joined by invited guests from across the public health system for a day of presentations, workshops and debates on how best to translate the knowledge and evidence generated by the School’s research into practice, and to reflect on the future priorities for public health research.

The event was attended by over 130 members of SPHR who came together to network, share ideas and take part in lively discussions about the future of public health research.

Commenting on the event, Professor Jon Nicholl, Director of SPHR, said “Today it has been fantastic to see the volume and quality of research that has been carried out by our members. The NIHR School for Public Health Research is committed to building a robust evidence base for public health research and it is heartening to hear the commitment and enthusiasm to meeting the challenges in public health research over the School’s next five years”.

Read more on our website

Evaluation of NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme begins

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) was announced in the NHS Five Year Forward View. The programme, which is a joint initiative between NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK, aims to significantly reduce the four million people in England otherwise expected to have Type 2 diabetes by 2025.  It could save lives in the future and millions of pounds for the NHS.

SPHR’s academic partners Fuse and MRC Cambridge are evaluating the first phase of the NHS DPP in preparation for implementation.

This early evaluation will provide evidence from sites across England on maximising implementation and effectiveness and identifying opportunities to evaluate nationally.

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Shifting the gravity of spending? Results of a national survey of selected members of Health and Wellbeing Boards

SPHR’s Shifting the gravity of spending project, led by our academic partner Fuse’s Professor David Hunter, has produced a report which is now available to download (pdf).

The report contains the findings of a survey that asked core members of Health and Wellbeing Boards questions about:

  • the levels of influence over public health spending
  • local public health priorities
  • criteria for public health spending
  • prioritisation techniques and decision-support methods
  • the allocation of the ring-fenced public health budget
  • the effects of the transfer of public health responsibilities.

Survey Results (pdf)

Read more about the project (pdf)…

Sexual health and alcohol education for young people

Developing an evidence based educational intervention

On 25 September 2015 members of SPHR’s Alcohol Programme team held a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London to share findings from the first phase of their research with a range of experts and practitioners in the field of alcohol and sexual health education.

Read more on our website

Drink Less App

The Drink Less App was developed by Susan Michie’s team, and is currently being evaluated in a factorial experiment,  to help tackle excessive alcohol consumption.

This is one of the very few apps that use evidence and theory from the fields of behavioural science and addiction to help support users in reducing their alcohol consumption.

Drink Less Alcohol App

Film: Susan Michie talks about Drink Less

SPHR case studies

SPHR has produced a series of case studies about the School’s research which is now available on our website to view as a flipbook or to download as a pdf.
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NIHR at 10

2016 marks a decade since the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) was established. Throughout the last ten years it has contributed significantly to the health and wealth of the nation and is now the most comprehensive research system in the world.

SPHR is very proud to be building a robust evidence base for public health research as part of the NIHR’s commitment to improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Liverpool an Age Friendly City – 7 March 2016

Dr Stefanie Buckner from SPHR’s Ageing Well programme presented a talk on the Age Friendly Cities study as part of Liverpool Older People’s Conference 2016 which also included an address by Joe Anderson (Mayor of Liverpool) and the launch of Liverpool Older People’s Awards 2016 with actor Ricky Tomlinson.

Second SPHR researchers’ network event

On 9 March 2016, more than 50 members of the SPHR Researchers’ Network met in Newcastle for a pre-conference event ahead of the SPHR Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

The event followed the ASM theme of ‘Knowledge into Practice,’ as well as providing an opportunity for researchers across the school to meet.

Twitter activity from the day has been captured in a Storify.

Read more on our website

New faces

Welcome to Karen Groot, Mary Crowder, Vanessa Er and Kaiseree Dias!

Karen Groot has joined UCL as their new SPHR manager.

Karen will manage UCL’s membership of the SPHR having responsibility for coordinating activity across UCL, as well as collaborations with other School members.

Mary Crowder has joined the SPHR Doncaster Domestic Abuse project team at the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).

Vanessa Er and Kaiseree Dias have joined the University of Bristol as Research Associates in Public Health Research.

Read more on our website

Health Inequalities blog

Emma Halliday is writing a series of blogs for SPHR’s Health Inequalities programme.

Her latest blog as part of the Local Area Research and Intelligence Association’s Research Fortnight 2016 looks at the health inequalities impact of local authority pricing policies for leisure provision.

SPHR’s Health Inequalities team also plan to share a range of resources including research briefings and short videos on their website.

Health Inequalties Blog


NICE public health guideline on Community Engagement (NG44)

SPHR research provides supporting evidence for this guidance which covers community engagement approaches to reduce health inequalities, ensure health and wellbeing initiatives are effective and help local authorities and health bodies meet their statutory obligations.

NICE public health guideline on Community Engagement (NG44)


The NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is funded by the NIHR. SPHR is a collaboration between: the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, UCL; The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; the LiLaC collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster and Fuse: The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities.In brief

Upcoming Events

30 May – 3 June 2016 – 42nd Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium (Stockholm) 
Members of SPHR’s Alcohol team at LSHTM will be attending this event in May to discuss their SPHR projects. The Symposium provides an international forum for researchers involved in studies on alcohol to exchange ideas about their ongoing research.
Find out more…
24 May 2016 – why evaluate? Free workshop for local government practitioners (Birmingham)

A free one-day introductory course in collaboration with colleagues in the West Midlands exploring evaluation issues and offering some pointers to local government practitioners on how to think about and evaluate the effects of their daily activities working in and around public health.

Find out more…

11 May 2016 – LSHTM seminar ‘engaging with local authorities’ (London)

Our advisory board member, David Pye (Local Government Association), will give a seminar on Wednesday 11 May 2016, 12.45-14:00 at LSHTM.


Find out more...

 Recent Events

12 April 2016 – LSHTM seminar ‘connecting communities and complexity: creating the conditions for transformational change’ (London)

Katrina Wyatt and Robin Durie from the University of Exeter gave a seminar on creating change in public health through connecting communities.

Storify – Twitter Highlights

Blog: Transforming community relations

8 April – ScHARR workshop on how to evaluate your work around public health (Sheffield)

A free interactive workshop for anyone involved in designing, commissioning, managing or delivering strategies, policies or interventions aimed at improving the health and well-being of the population.

Find out more…

7 March 2016 – LSHTM workshop on evaluating public health policies in local government (Poole)

A free one-day introductory course to explore evaluation issues and offer some pointers to local government practitioners on how to think about and evaluate the effects of their activities on public health.

22 January 2016 – UCL Alcohol Interest Group event (London)

Drs Elizabeth McGill & Triantafyllos Pliakas from LSHTM spoke about addressing alcohol harms through voluntary action and evaluating the impact of a Reducing the Strength initiative.

New websites

The SPHR website now has section devoted to our school wide programme of research on the theme of Ageing Well:

Ageing Well website

There is also a new website from the SPHR team at The University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) with lots of information about their research carried out as part of SPHR.

ScHARR’s SPHR website

 NIHR Dissemination Centre Signals

SPHR research has been highlighted in two recent Signals from the NIHR Dissemination Centre :

How to successfully implement a school-based health promotion programme
Licensing decisions by local authorities can reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions

Damehood for Professor Margaret Whitehead

Professor Margaret Whitehead, Head of the University of Liverpool’s Department of Public Health and Policy, was awarded a damehood in the New Year Honours List for services to Public Health.

Find out more…

 Researchers’ Network Committee members sought

The NIHR SPHR Researchers’ Network committee membership rotates annually, and it is now time for the current committee to be replaced by new members.  The committee tends to meet in person once or twice a year, with additional teleconferences held as and when necessary.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact the representative for your institute.

Find out more…

Recent Publications

Potential of trans fats policies to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in mortality from coronary heart disease in England: cost effectiveness modelling study (BMJ) 

Any versus long-term prescribing of high risk medications in older people using 2012 Beers Criteria: results from three cross-sectional samples of primary care records (BMC Geriatrics) 

Behavioural Risk Factors in Mid-Life Associated with Successful Ageing, Disability, Dementia and Frailty in Later Life: A Rapid Systematic Review (PLoS One)
Barriers and Facilitators to the Uptake and Maintenance of Healthy Behaviours by People at Mid-Life: A Rapid Systematic Review (PLoS One)

Conceptualising the ‘community’ as a recipient of money – A critical literature review, and implications for health and inequalities. Social Science & Medicine
Exposing the impact of Citizens Advice Bureau services on health: a realist evaluation protocol (BMJ Open)

Comparison of brief interventions in primary care on smoking and excessive alcohol consumption in England: a population survey. British Journal of General Practice
Sensory impairment and cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality in older British community-dwelling men: a 10-year follow-up study (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society)

Older people’s priorities in health and social care research and practice: a public engagement workshop (Research Involvement and Engagement)


Get in touch

For all enquiries please contact:

Catherine Porter
School Manager
NIHR School for Public
Health Research (SPHR)

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