Centre for Health and Development (CHAD)

Themes

Summary

Our purpose is to undertake translational, applied research to improve the health and wellbeing of our local population and help reduce social and health inequalities, we are an inter-disciplinary, university-wide centre focused on the science and application of health and health equity research.

Our aim

The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) was originally established as an innovative partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire University. Its purpose is to undertake translational, applied research to improve the health and wellbeing of our local population and contribute to the reduction of social and health inequalities. By bringing together local government, academia and local communities, CHAD has been endorsed by Sir Michael Marmot as being ‘exactly what is needed’ to tackle heath inequalities and address the social determinants of health View here.

In a time of diminishing public sector resources and evidence of increasing health inequalities the two Local Authorities recognised the need to be able to evidence effectiveness of public health interventions locally, whilst developing the evidence base of not only what works, but how interventions work to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.

In partnership with Staffordshire University they identified 3 years of funding to establish CHAD as centre for translational research which would focus on health and social inequalities and respond to local priorities as identified by the health and wellbeing boards, JSNA and community voice. Initial funding for CHAD was made available from July 2015 to August 2018, and CHAD has been fully operational from July 2016.

From August 2018 onwards, CHAD was adopted and supported as a mainstream Staffordshire University research centre, whilst continuing to maintain and develop links with external partners to operate as a collaborative research centre.

Collaboration is at the heart of CHAD delivery. We have a developed an infrastructure based around the three strands of CHAD which enables us to engage with a wide range of partners proactively, and to maximise the assets available to us.

Our research aligns closely with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:

  • Goal 3 – Good health and well-being
  • Goal 10 – Reduced health inequalities
  • Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities.

CHAD has four thematic areas:

The Healthy Communities and Place

Focuses on the physical and social characteristics of communities and the extent to which they enable and promote health and well-being. There is a social gradient in relation to the level of ‘healthy’ community characteristics of communities, for example, access to good quality, useable green-space, access to affordable nutritious food, and good quality housing options, as well as differences in levels of social capital.

The role of natural environments and green space in determining the health of local populations is an area of specialist interest to CHAD.

Healthy Living

Focuses on the prevention of ill health and promotion of positive health and wellbeing.

This theme is important because many of the key health behaviours that contribute to the development of chronic disease follow the social gradient such as smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. Reducing health inequalities therefore requires a focus on these health behaviours and the implementation of evidence-based interventions that relate to the social determinants of health.

Health Inclusion

Focuses on the health and wellbeing of people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who may experience complex and multiple needs and/or who may have difficulty accessing universal services. This could include, but is not limited to, people who experience substance misuse, homelessness, mental distress, migrants, and/or offenders.

This theme is important because people from marginalised groups often have poorer health outcomes. The Marmot review (2010) sets out six policy objectives that are required to reduce health inequalities.

Healthy Start

Focuses on maternal and child health. This includes the health and wellbeing of women who are pregnant and/or have young children, the children themselves, and their significant others.

The first objective in the Marmot review (2010) states that every child should be given the best start in life. Furthermore, action to reduce health inequalities must start before birth and be followed through the life course of the child. Thus, research around a healthy start, specific to the local needs of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, is important.

Group leader

Professor Christopher Gidlow

Professor Of Applied Health Research

Following an undergraduate in Applied Biology (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), I completed an MSc at in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Public Health (University of Bristol).

Christopher's profile

Researchers within Centre for Health and Development (CHAD)

Dr Naomi Ellis

Senior Lecturer

I've been involved with a number of research projects relating to physical activity and mental health, green space and health; health in mid-life; sport and mental health in prisons.

Naomi's profile

Fiona Mccormack

Research Officer

Victoria Riley

Research Associate

I completed my undergraduate degree at Staffordshire University in 2012 and then went on to complete the MSc in Health Psychology also at Staffordshire University in 2013.

Victoria's profile

Konstantinos Spyropoulos

Research Associate

Professor Jon Fairburn

Professor

Professor Jon Fairburn is active in teaching, research, bid writing and public engagement. He has incorporated credited work experience into geography and tourism degrees as well as the MSc Digital Marketing Management.

Jon's profile

Professor Wilfred Mcsherry

Professor

I graduate from the University of Hull in 1992 with a Bachelor Science (Hons) Nursing Sciences.

Wilfred's profile

Professor Elizabeth Boath

Professor Of Health And Wellbeing (Tef)

Liz is a Coach and Mentor, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Practitioner and teaches Counselling, Public Health and Communication Skills. Liz's research is focussed on perinatal mental health and health and social c…

Elizabeth's profile

Dr Edward Tolhurst

Senior Lecturer

My research focuses on the experience of dementia and how this is shaped by relationships, social location and sociocultural factors. I teach on modules including Leadership, Dementia Awareness, and Healthy Individuals through the Lifespan.

Edward's profile

Dr Adam Boughey

Lecturer

I have a professional background in nursing and currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Registered Adult Nurse (RN(A)).

Adam's profile

Dr Sarahjane Jones

Associate Professor

Top 250 Young University

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 15 for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020