Building capacity to reduce health inequalities through health promotion in Europe

New article published by nIGEL SHERRIFF AND COLLEAGUES LINKED TO THE eUROPEAN ACTION FOR HEALTH PROJECT. http://www.action-for-health.eu/. cOPY OF THE ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND BY FOLLOWING THE LNK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

ABSTRACT

Aim

Whilst considerable attention has been paid to describing and measuring health inequalities, relatively little attention has been paid to ways to effectively reduce health inequalities within and among populations. This article presents a conceptual framework for capacity building to assist stakeholders at the regional level within Europe to maximise the potential of healthy public policies and practices to reduce these inequalities as a core part of strategic action plans to access European Structural Funds.

Subject and methods

Within the ACTION-FOR-HEALTH (A4H) project co-funded by the European Commission (EC), a conceptual framework for capacity building to reduce health inequalities was developed and evaluated. The evaluation design adopted mixed methods involving a series of focus groups (n = 22), interviews (n = 14) and questionnaires (n = 34) involving the project partners.

Results

We present the A4H conceptual framework, which is based on a series of capacity-building actions comprising three key areas: (1) developing knowledge and skills; (2) building partnerships; (3) creating action plans. The evaluation data show that the project contributed to enhancing capacities in all three of these areas, at the regional, organisational, and individual levels.

Conclusion

Focussing mostly on building capacities, the A4H project has the potential to have several sustainable outcomes. Our results underscore the importance of the capacity-building approach for the reduction of health inequalities in Europe.Gugglberger, Sherriff et al 2015_A4H

Fit for the future – online consultation closes Jan 31

This week I attended a Public Health Workforce review consultation meeting with PHE – there are some interesting changes afoot, and a promising sense of recognition that public health is not just for medically or clinically trained professionals. Much of the discussion was decidedly ‘health promotion’ – talk of empowering people from all walks of life to address health issues. The chief of Berkshire Firefighters gave an impressive talk on how home-fire prevention services can also bring in health promotion.  There is also talk of developing a public health skills passport.

There is an online consultation on the future direction of public health workforce – the closing deadline has been extended to Jan 31st -it takes about 15 minutes and has some thought provoking questions. DO have your say: https://surveys.phe.org.uk/PHWorkforceReview

The background document – best to read if first- is at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fit-for-the-future-a-review-of-the-public-health-workforce

Everywhere in Japan: an international approach to working with commercial gay businesses in HIV prevention

Check out our new article on HIV prevention among Men who have Sex with Men in Japan, building on the European Everywhere Project.

Summary

In the UK and Japan, there is concern regarding rising rates of annual new HIV infections among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). Whilst in the UK and Europe, gay businesses are increasingly recognized as being important settings through which to deliver HIV prevention and health promotion interventions to target vulnerable populations; in Japan such settings-based approaches are relatively underdeveloped. This article draws on qualitative data from a recently completed study conducted to explore whether it is feasible, acceptable and desirable to build on the recent European Everywhere project for adaptation and implementation in Japan. A series of expert workshops were conducted in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka with intersectoral representatives from Japanese and UK non-governmental organizations (NGOs), gay businesses, universities and gay communities (n = 46). Further discussion groups and meetings were held with NGO members and researchers from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Research Group on HIV Prevention Policy, Programme Implementation and Evaluation among MSM (n = 34). The results showed that it is desirable, feasible and acceptable to adapt and implement a Japanese version of Everywhere. Such a practical, policy-relevant, settings-based HIV prevention framework for gay businesses may help to facilitate the necessary scale up of prevention responses among MSM in Japan. Given the high degree of sexual mobility between countries in Asia, there is considerable potential for the Everywhere Project (or its Japanese variant) to be expanded and adapted to other countries within the Asia-Pacific region.

For the full paper, see here: http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/11/11/heapro.dav096.abstract

Health improvement in East Sussex. Findings released

health improvement summary

The findings of a recently completed project on engaging with young people to inform health improvement commissioning in East Sussex, have now been released. Two versions of the reports are available, one full report and a shorter more accessible summary report designed specifically for the young people who took part. For copies of the report see the link:

ESCC_Accessible Summary_Nov 15

ESCC_Final Report_Nov_15

Project web page is here: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/healthresearch/research-projects/health-improvement-commissioning.aspx

SUGAR in the news – going beyond the sugar tax headlines

Its worth digging down beyond the sugar- tax proposals that are making all the headlines from Public Health England’s sugar evidence review.  Here are a few points from the report that are worth chewing over:

  1. Marketing in all its many forms consistently influences food preference, choice and purchasing in children and adults. End of aisle displays, for example, leads to a 50% increase in purchases of fizzy drinks.
  2. Food promotions are more widespread in Britain than anywhere else in Europe, accounting for around 40% of all domestic food and drink spending. IMG_2125
  3. Price promotions increase the amount of food and drink people buy by around one-fifth. These are purchases people would not make without the in-store promotions. They also increase the amount of sugar purchased from higher sugar foods and drinks by 6% overall and influence purchasing by all socioeconomic and demographic groups.

Coca-Cola’s funding of health research and partnerships

In a bid to increase transparency, Coca-Cola has disclosed spending US$118·6 million in the past 5 years on scientific research and health and wellbeing partnerships.

What are your views on health organisations receiving such funding from the food and drinks industry? A severe conflict of interest or doing something good with ‘dirty’ money?

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2900397-9/fulltext