Health of People report advances with second working group meeting
22 January 2016
The Campaign’s forthcoming Health of People report has made progress with the second meeting of the working group tasked with its production.
The group met on January 13 to discuss the vision and structure of the report, due to be launched in summer 2016. The report will outline the vital role of social science research and practice in contributing to health and addressing specific issues facing the NHS and public healthcare more broadly.
The working group discussed the ways in which social science knowledge can help in understanding health problems, while also offering solutions to better solve these problems at both individual and societal levels. They specified the areas in which it could be used to secure better outcomes for patients and society at large, namely prevention, optimizing biomedical interventions, and dealing with chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, as well as offering guidance on child development and mental health.
They agreed that there is space for social scientific methods and findings to be more effectively incorporated into the public health agenda, requiring it be made increasingly visible and readily available to policy makers across all levels of government. They said social science expertise is uniquely placed to identify, apply and generate the evidence needed to improve public health and its management.
Other points of emphasis included the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation, the need for relevant and up-to-date evidence used in policy decisions, and the way in which social science could demonstrate new, efficient approaches to complex problems in a time of limited resources.
The report will be approximately 10,000 words and consist of case studies and concrete recommendations designed to appeal to MPs, policy-makers, government leaders and civil servants, health professionals and service users, media, the NHS and civil society groups.
The working group brings together a range of different academic disciplines and practitioner expertise, as well as different roles in relation to prevention and delivery of health care. Members are joined by David Walker, the Campaign’s Head of Policy, who will draft the text. Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology at University College London, chairs the working group.
The next meeting will take place in March.