Thu, 14 Dec 2023 International

£5 Million Research Project Aims to Tackle Health Inequalities in North Yorkshire

5 Million Research Project Aims to Tackle Health Inequalities in North Yorkshire

A groundbreaking collaboration, involving researchers from the University of York and Hull York Medical School, has embarked on a vital mission to unearth the root causes of health disparities across North Yorkshire. Supported by a significant £5 million funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the initiative is part of a broader £55 million scheme encompassing 11 regions in England and Wales.

The NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration North Yorkshire, set to operate over five years, aims to deliver crucial insights that will reshape how North Yorkshire Council administers its services. Statistics reveal that 1 in 17 residents in the region live in areas ranked among the 20% most deprived nationwide, highlighting the urgent need for this research.

Cllr Michael Harrison, North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for Health and Adult Services, emphasized the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on health. "This collaboration will not only identify these influences but also assist the council and our partners in devising policies and interventions to foster health equity," he said.

Dr Mark Pearson, Co-chief investigator from Hull York Medical School, underscored the importance of research in public health. "Our goal is to help the council enhance its research capacity, leading to health improvements in the region," he explained.

Despite the general good health in North Yorkshire, disparities exist across its urban, rural, and coastal districts. Communities in these areas experience varying health challenges, with some facing reduced life expectancy and years of good health, often due to factors beyond their control.

Professor Helen Weatherly from the University of York, the academic lead on the project, expressed her enthusiasm. "It's an honour to be involved in this grant. We're eager to collaborate with North Yorkshire Council and the University of Hull to make a tangible difference in the community," she stated.

The Health Determinants Research Collaboration will be integrated within North Yorkshire Council, with specialist staff hired to foster a robust research culture. This initiative aims to provide solid evidence to guide strategic decisions, promoting effective resource use to enhance health outcomes and diminish health inequalities.

The project is scheduled to commence on January 1, 2024, marking a significant step forward in understanding and addressing the health needs of North Yorkshire's diverse population.

William Gomes
William Gomes

South Asia correspondent.
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