20/06 Reducing health inequalities in coastal towns and communities

  • Which interventions are effective in improving health and reducing health inequalities for deprived populations living in coastal towns/communities?

Approximately 17 per cent of the UK population lives in coastal towns and communities (CTCs). Many contain prosperous and commercially successful areas, with other areas experiencing socio-economic decline and having unusual demographic profiles.  Evidence suggests that there are growing risks for the health and wellbeing of CTCs. CTCs can suffer from a set of issues that have their roots in the decline of their core industries, this includes tourism, fishing, ship building and port activities. These areas can be affected by the combination of industrial decline, geography and the 180 degree context, which brings a unique set of economic and social challenges.

The PHR Programme is interested in the effectiveness of interventions (outside of the NHS) to improve health and reduce inequalities in CTCs. Research may address health issues, or wider determinants of health, for CTCs, or area-based interventions. Changes in health outcomes related to coastal initiatives, such as asset-based approaches, coastal development or regeneration, may also be studied. ‘Effectiveness’ in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but it also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects, including inequitable outcomes. There is particular interest in addressing need for those at higher risk of poor health outcomes. Researchers should specify and justify their choice of intervention and geography. The Programme is not interested in interventions that operate at an individual level and is particularly interested in findings that will be applicable to other deprived coastal areas.

Researchers will need to identify and justify the most suitable methodological approach. Researchers will need to specify how short, medium and long term impacts will be evaluated.

Proposals received by 1pm on 28 July 2020, and deemed within remit, will be assessed for their importance to public health by the Prioritisation Committee (PC) in September 2020.

Shortlisted Stage 1 proposals from this round will be considered by the Funding Committee (FC) in October 2020, and assessed for scientific quality, feasibility and value for money. Applicants will be informed of the FC’s decisions in late October 2020, and successful applicants will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application. Applicants have eight weeks to complete and submit a Stage 2 application for it to be considered at the February 2021 Funding Committee.

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