The NIHR School for Public Health Research held its seventh Annual Scientific Meeting on the 13 and 14 May. The event was held virtually and brought together over 290 delegates including researchers, public partners, public health professionals and the wider NIHR.
The event aimed to explore and discuss the longer term consequences of COVID-19 and future learning for public health, with a particular focus on the health inequalities that have been exposed and worsened by the pandemic, the policy implications and how to tackle this as a community.
On day one of the conference, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK’s Chief Medical Adviser gave a very insightful and reflective keynote talk on the future of public health research.
In the afternoon, Professor Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University gave a talk on the unequal pandemic and the relationship between COVID-19 and health inequalities. Prof Bambra highlighted the four pathways to inequality and argued for the need to learn from other immunisation programmes to ensure vaccine programmes do not become a fifth pathway to inequality.
On day two, Professor George Davey Smith, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, gave the final keynote talk on historical epidemic disease and its relevance on public health today.
You can watch the Keynote talks here.
The viewpoints sessions brought together two experts with different ‘viewpoints’ to discuss important public health challenges and how the public health research community can tackle these issues going forward.
Professor John Coggon, Professor of Law at the University of Bristol and Dr Jean Adams at the University of Cambridge discussed why Public Health should consider agency.
Professor Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK and Dr Ben Goldacre at the University of Oxford discussed how to maximise the benefit of existing UK data sources to improve Public Health.
You can watch the viewpoint sessions here.
Research programmes and themes
The past year has shone a spotlight on the importance of public health. In particular, inequalities and mental health have been at the forefront of conversations throughout the pandemic. Throughout the event our research programmes and themes highlighted many examples of how the School has collectively worked together to highlight important issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
You can watch the Programme and Theme presentations here.
You can watch the workshops here.
On day two of the conference, Professor Jennie Popay, SPHR Public Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Lead gave an insightful talk on the School’s PIE strategy. During the talk Prof Popay stressed the importance of public involvement and said:
“Involving the public in research will ensure that all research is relevant and timely. It will increase the uptake of research by people involved public health delivery and will increase its impact on the health of the people.”
You can watch the overview of public involvement and engagement in SPHR here.
Delegates also had the opportunity to attend a workshop with the two of our Public Partners and the PIE team. The workshop focused on capturing the impact of involvement on public partners, research teams and research projects.
You can watch the PIE presentations and workshops here.
The Booth presentations in the Expo area provided delegates with the opportunity to meet our PhD students, pre and post-doctoral Fellows, summer Interns and PHPES project teams and ask questions about their research.
All booth speakers pre-recorded presentations about their research and you can view the presentations below: