NIHR SPHR Health Inequalities Lead, Professor Clare Bambra has been awarded just over £900,000 to investigate regional health inequalities in North and South England.
The Wellcome Trust Award funds teams who are tackling major health-related questions in the humanities and social sciences.
The ‘north-south health divide’ in England is longstanding and persistent. In the mid-19th century, life expectancies in northern cities were four years lower than in southern cities, and today, there is still a two-year difference in average life expectancy between northern and southern regions.
However, there has been no thorough academic study of regional health inequalities, so we know little about the causes over time, or people’s experiences and perceptions. This oversight is even more pressing due to emerging evidence that health inequalities are increasing and that the North is falling further behind.
The North and South project will fill this gap and enhance our understanding of the ‘north-south health divide’, provide insights into how to close it, and advance international health inequalities research.
Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University, said: “As the pandemic is showing, the North South health divide is extremely important – but little understood. I am delighted to be awarded this grant to investigate regional inequalities past, present, future and to be supported by such a strong team of colleagues. The grant complements other collaborations to reduce local health inequalities including Fuse, the NIHR School for Public Health Research and the Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria.”
The collaborative project includes Fuse members Heather Brown and Vicki McGowan and will employ two postdoctoral researchers and four PhD students.
The five year award for £913,000 will run until July 2026.