Health Determinants Research Collaborative
Jonathan O’ Sullivan, Director of Public Health for Islington introduced the item. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) were a major funder of health research and evaluation and had announced a major initiative to invest in local government to build research capacity and the evidence base for addressing determinants of health and care inequalities. In October it had announced that Islington was one of thirteen successful sites across the UK to become a Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC). It was an opportunity for Islington to become a pioneer site, working in collaboration with academics, the voluntary and community sector, other partners and across the Council to develop capacity and capability in research and related activities.
It provided a significant opportunity to accelerate initiatives that were underway in Islington. The NIHR had conditionally approved implementation of a five-year HDRC in Islington starting in October 2023, subject to delivering an agreed programme of development activities over the next ear. Development was requested in governance and engagement; the range of activities and methods for dissemination of learning; exploration of the ethical and methodological approaches for use of data and a specific action for the monitoring framework required for the five-year programme.
It was highlighted that a board of a few key partners could be bought together for the development year to work on the development plan, with a full delivery board being bought together after the development process. The Health and Wellbeing Board were asked to provide governance and accountability for the HDRC Board and their progress against the delivery plan, to help with difficult issues and to support engagement work.
Healthwatch were keen to bring housing data and wider key determinants together; for the opportunity to train community members; the involvement of voluntary sector organisations and the opportunity for shared learning. They hoped to bring diversity to the work through their diverse community health voice partners and through work with Disability Action in Islington. They highlighted residents were particularly concerned by housing inequality and wanted opportunities for young people.
In the discussion the following main points were made:
· Whether there would be an opportunity for the Safeguarding Board and the Children’s Partnership to benefit from some of the learning around data.
· Whether there was scope for looking at dementia care across Islington.
· It was confirmed that there was one developmental year and the potential for five funded years.
· That the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Islington Leaders Together Forum could be key places for governance and oversight.
· That the early focus would be on the cost of living crisis and debt.
· In terms of housing, there was separate funding to look at solutions around overcrowding and health and they were considering how this opportunity could link with the overcrowding initiative.
1) To note the opportunities presented with the success of the HDRC proposal
2) To note the development year proposals which had to be addressed in order to progress to a full HDRC from October 2023.
3) To receive progress updates on the HDRC Development Year plan
4) To offer support and advice on the plan as it was progressed, particularly as it related to strategic leadership and had a link with resident engagement work across partners.