Translational research

Embedded researcher in a public health team

Fuse and Gateshead Council in North East England have developed an innovative partnership to develop research capacity. Dr Mandy Cheetham works as an ‘embedded researcher’ alongside the council’s Public Health team to undertake research which helps inform public health planning and delivery. This collaboration has helped academics to understand how the Council utilises research evidence, and raised awareness of potential mechanisms of influence by gaining insight into the Council’s decision-making processes. It also identified pressures on Local Authorities and local communities and built research skills within the Public Health team.

Mandy’s embedded role helps increase capacity through strong relationships with wider stakeholders consulting her for advice on related research projects, and brokering links by drawing on the wider expertise of Fuse academics. Research undertaken includes an evaluation of integrated health and wellbeing services, and a qualitative study to explore community-led approaches to address childhood obesity in partnership with a local voluntary organisation and community members.

The impact of this collaborative approach has been to improve community access to local leisure facilities, young people’s participation in physical activity and the schools’ Daily Mile initiative. It has led to a community carnival, addressed traffic concerns outside primary schools, seen volunteers and apprentices working together to cook a weekly affordable community lunch, and established a healthy pizza social enterprise with potential employment opportunities.

The embedded researcher role has developed capacity through engaging communities experiencing health inequalities in this locality, enabling responsive, collaborative public health approaches to be developed.

Last modified: Fri, 15 Feb 2019 14:50:21 GMT