The Academy is working to implement the recommendations of its report exploring how the UK’s research environment needs to adapt to meet the health challenges the population will face by 2040.Undertaking Follow Up
Health of the Public in 2040: implementation
Over the coming decades, the UK population will face a wide range of complex health challenges and opportunities, many of which can only be fully addressed through strategies to secure and improve the health of the public as a whole.
The Academy’s report, ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040’, explores how to organise our research environment to generate and translate the evidence needed to underpin such strategies. Since the report's launch in September 2016, the Academy has been working with its partners and collaborators to implement the report's recommendations.
The report's recommendations emerged from the project's findings in four areas:
- Optimising research to improve the health of the public
- Harnessing the digital revolution
- Developing the next generation of researchers and practitioners
- Working together to improve health and health equity
Guiding our next steps
In January 2017, the Academy convened an implementation workshop to explore how to implement the recommendations made in the ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040’ report. This convened experts in a wide range of fields, with discussions summarised in the report ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040: next steps’. In addition, the knowledge and expertise of the project’s working group and its Chair, Professor Dame Anne Johnson DBE FMedSci, informs and guides each step in the implementation of the report’s recommendations. Most recently, the group was convened in January 2018 for an update and discussion on the projects activities.
Some of the key outputs from the implementation of these recomendations are detailed on the tabs at the top of this page. Full details of the 'Improving the health of the public 2040' report can be found here.
Optimising research to improve the health of the public
The future of public health
To explore key areas where public health research could best contribute to substantial improvements in health and welfare across the UK, the Academy held a workshop in July 2017 to explore ‘The future of public health research’. This prioritised six key areas for public health research. To deliver research impact, discussions at the workshop and follow up meetings emphasised the need for better collaboration between policy makers, the public, and interdisciplinary researchers using ambitious research challenges and a new funding framework driven by local needs. A summary of these discussions is available here.
Strategic Co-ordinating Body for Health of the Public Research (SCHOPR)
A key recommendation of the ‘Improving the Health of the Public by 2040’ report was to establish a new coordinating body to identify priority areas of research to improve the health of the public and help make sure research is translated into public benefit. To implement this recommendation, a new UK Strategic Co-ordinating Body for Health of the Public Research (SCHOPR), chaired by Professor Dame Anne Johnson FMedSci, has been established as a sub-board of the Office of Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research.
In July 2019, SCHOPR provided the UK Chief Medical Officers with a set of public health research principles and goals aimed at driving improvements in the UK’s offer on health of the public research. The SCHOPR paper was developed following consultation with Government departments, devolved administrations, research councils, research charities and other interested groups, and is available to download on the right hand side of this page.
Developing the next generation of researchers and practitioners
Springboard - Health of the Public 2040
The report emphasises the need to significantly increase transdisciplinary research capability, in a way that harnesses the changing drivers of health. To contribute to this ambition, the Academy has launched a new grant scheme called Springboard - Health of the Public 2040 to help further the careers of newly independent researchers working in the health social sciences and medical humanities.
Working together to improve health and health equity
The Academy’s ‘Improving the Health of the Public by 2040’ report emphasises that policy decisions should be guided by a robust understanding of how to most effectively support and improve the health of the public. To facilitate improved use of evidence in policy making, the Academy is currently undertaking a joint project with the Royal Society in evidence synthesis. This involved convening joint workshops on ‘Evidence Synthesis: supply and demand’ and ‘Ensuring synthesised evidence is available for policy-making'. These workshops developed a set of principles for good evidence synthesis and identified changes that are needed in the research landscape to support quality synthesised evidence for policy making. A report of this project will be published in due course.
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