University partners new research initiative

University partners new research initiative

The University of Aberdeen will work with local partners to establish a Health Determinants Research Collaboration after funding of £5 million was secured.

NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRC) enable local authorities to become more research-active, embedding a culture of evidence-based decision making.  

The University will work with Aberdeen City Council, who led the bid, as well as NHS Grampian and Robert Gordon University.

The funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is spread over five years.

Research within the collaboration will focus on determining what can be done to address the wider drivers of population health and health inequalities of groups and areas within the city.

The outcomes of the HDRC will support future decision making and identify improvements in driving factors affecting the health and wellbeing for the residents of Aberdeen.

The NIHR has awarded £50 million to 10 new HDRCs across the UK, to provide the capacity and capability for local authorities to undertake public health research to address the wider determinants of health and health inequalities.

Aberdeen City Council is the only local authority in Scotland taking part in the research collaboration at this stage.  

Professor Shantini Paranjothy of the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Health Data Science and co-lead of the Aberdeen HDRC, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeen City Council and other partners on this exciting new initiative. 

“We will use our research strengths and expertise in data science and evidence synthesis to work with our partners and the public to find new solutions that will address the social and economic factors that impact on health and well-being.”

Councillor John Cooke, Vice-Chairperson of the Integrated Joint Board, said: “We are pleased to be leading on this hugely important collaboration and for this tremendous opportunity for sharing skills and experiences between sectors.

“Working with our partners, we will be able to utilise the enhanced research evidence to inform our decision making aimed at improving wellbeing and tackling health inequalities across the city.”

Director of Public Health for NHS Grampian, Susan Webb commented: "The NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC) Aberdeen is an exciting and important initiative that will see us working collaboratively to prevent ill health and support people to live happy, healthy and prosperous lives. 

“This is particularly timely with the cost-of-living crisis and potential impacts on population health and well-being. We look forward to working with Aberdeen City Council, public and partners to address these challenges and reduce health inequalities."

Dr Flora Douglas, Professor in Public Health at RGU, said: "We are delighted that Aberdeen City has received this funding from the NIHR. It is a fantastic opportunity to considerably expand current joint work between the local authority, health services partners, and our universities.

"This funding will help us to develop and focus health improvement work and research on a wide range of economic and social factors that are fundamental to the health and well-being of our communities.

"Having Aberdeen‘s local communities and people at the centre of this project has the potential to generate a range of innovative ideas, policies and actions that will improve their health and quality of life."

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