The Fraser of Allander Institute and the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde have been awarded £1.2 million to establish a new policy and research unit as part of a major programme of work to improve health and tackle inequalities in Scotland.
The award from the Health Foundation will ensure significant new research and knowledge exchange activities are focused on accelerating efforts to improve health and reduce inequalities in Scotland.
The three-year programme will provide greater independent voice and scrutiny in Scottish policy debates with a focus on the socio-economic drivers of ill health. It will work with people from the public, private and third sectors and the wider public to drive the practical action needed to improve health and reduce inequalities in Scotland.
The collaboration will bring together a substantial skills and knowledge base on tackling inequalities in Scotland, focusing on economic and policy analysis and stakeholder and community engagement.
The Fraser of Allander Institute will build on its track record of holding policymakers at all levels of government to account for delivering on their commitments.
Emma Congreve, Deputy Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde and co-lead for this programme, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Health Foundation to accelerate progress on improving health and reducing inequalities in Scotland.
Our approach will be to add value to the already substantial evidence base on improving health and tackling inequalities in Scotland and to ensure the information is in front of people at the right time to influence better decision making in policy and practice.
Kat Smith, Co-Director of the Centre of Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde and co-lead for the programme, said: “With recent data showing that Scotland’s already substantial health inequalities have widened, this new programme is a timely opportunity to ensure that we are bringing evidence, stakeholders and communities together to effect change.”
David Finch, Assistant Director at the Health Foundation, said: “We are very pleased to support this exciting new three-year collaboration, which aims to bring greater independent voice and scrutiny to Scottish policy debates. It is time to start tackling Scotland’s last decade of stalled improvements in health and lack of progress in tackling health inequalities, with the most disadvantaged getting left behind.”