This research aims to build a working group between SPHR researchers to address outstanding research questions on the broader health and economic impacts of welfare rights advice.
June 2018 - May 2019
June 2017 - July 2018
The diversity of the English population continues to grow in terms of both the range of ethnic identities and the proportion of the population identifying as non-White British, which was around 20% in the 2011 census. Net migration reached its highest recorded levels in the UK in 2015, and around 13% of the registered population of England in the 2011 census were born outside the UK.
Currently there is limited public health intervention and health inequalities research exploring race, ethnicity and migration. Public health evidence and practice should reflect the needs of this diverse population. This project’s goal was to begin to redress the marginalisation of race/ethnicity and migration within public health intervention and health inequalities research in England.
The project also aimed to lay the foundations for future work to strengthen data availability and analytical approaches and expand the volume of high quality applied public health research that appropriately considers race/ethnicity and migration.
SPHR researchers undertook a series of complementary activities focused on the situation in England at local and national levels including:
SPHR researchers closely collaborated with local public health practitioners and Public Health England (Health Equity Unit, Travel & Migrant Health and Knowledge & Intelligence teams) and involved face-to-face learning events for stakeholder groups.
The findings confirmed that the English health inequalities agenda across both research and policy/practice currently gives little attention to ethnicity or migration. The project highlighted a significant need for capacity development, particularly in terms of data generation and analysis and meaningful engagement with minority groups.
In terms of funded public health research, very few projects currently focus on ethnicity or migration. There is a recent increased interest in the health and wellbeing of new migrant groups, but it is unclear that this newer focus on migrants is helpful to the broader agenda of diversity, inclusion and equality.
Despite these shortcomings, researchers found examples of promising work in needs assessment, research and practice. There are therefore opportunities to benchmark and share learning across localities to prompt improvement more widely. Action is needed to ensure that the public health research evidence generated better meets the needs of our diverse population. Efforts are also needed to diversify the public health research workforce.
Though national leadership remains limited, there is appetite for a national network and the potential for good practice at local level to be shared via national agencies. The SPHR cross-cutting Inequalities Theme is well placed to build on the project’s findings and the links to policy, practice and public that have been established.
Research Briefing: Embedding attention to ethnicity and migration within public health