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Meet the team


  • Rebecca Barwick (CCG and THIG)
  • Lucy Jackson (THIG)
  • Holly Dannhauser (THIG)
  • Jane South (LBU)
  • Kris Southby, (LBU)
  • Duncan Radley (LBU)
  • Joanna Saunders (LBU)
  • Carlton Cooke (LBU)
  • Jim McKenna (LBU)
  • George Sanders (LBU)

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

During lockdown a new Tackling Health Inequalities Group (THIG) was formed, with representation from key organisations across the city, facilitated by Leeds City Council (LCC).

Leeds Beckett University (LBU) brings a Whole Systems and Place Based Approach for reducing health inequalities, based on collaborative work with Public Health England.

The city has a strong network of health and care but more than 70,000 adults are facing in-work poverty. Around 186,000 people live in areas ranked in the most deprived 10% nationally. For some, COVID-19 has only made health inequalities worse. LBU data shows differences between groups accessing online services during lockdown when face to face services were not available.

These included barriers through poor access to technology and poor perceived competence in use of technology for BAME, manual worker, learning disabled and high deprivation sub-groups.

The positive change is the collaboration through the THIG, to tackle health inequalities, including those worsened by COVID-19.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Aim: To establish a Whole Systems and Place Based Approach that will directly inform, shape and drive the planning, implementation and evaluation of THIG’s activity, which will provide a co-ordinated, partnership approach to tackling health inequalities across Leeds.

  • LBU will provide leadership and training for the THIG in how the group and other key stakeholders across Leeds can collaborate effectively by using a Whole Systems (WSA) and Place Based Approach (PBA) for reducing health inequalities.
  • Use the Population Intervention Triangle (PIT) with action on Community-centred interventions (including people and patient involvement, co-design and co-creation), Service-based interventions and Civic-led interventions to review, plan, implement and evaluate specific initiatives to close the health inequalities gap in Leeds.
  • Apply a Research Capacity Development (RCD) framework to data collection and analysis of interventions, incorporating individual, organisational and systems levels to inform research that specifically addresses positive impact on health inequalities.

How will the project be delivered?

  • Engaging with people and patients from communities experiencing health inequalities through Local Care Partnerships and the newly established Communities of Interest Network (CoIN).
  • LBU academics will lead the development of a whole systems and place based approach in the work of the THIG, based on separate national collaborative projects recently completed with Public Health England.
  • A LBU researcher will join the Tackling Health Inequalities Group as an embedded researcher to help ensure a focus on the assessment of positive impact on health inequalities and, with the wider team of academics, apply the research capacity development framework to the analysis of interventions.
  • Reflecting the partnership approach of the Group, THIG members will oversee the delivery of the project, with support from a project steering group, including representation from Leeds CCG and LBU, that will ensure value for money through scrutiny of expenditure and mitigate risk via a risk register.

How is your project going to share learning?

  • Locally, a project report and presentation summarising the learning will provide a detailed assessment of actions implemented across Leeds to close the health inequalities gap, including an evaluation of impact, and an outline of the basis of future plans for year two and beyond.
  • An additional evaluation of the whole systems and placed based approaches will also be produced to facilitate replication elsewhere across the UK. These assessments will be disseminated across LCC, THIG members’ organisations and other key stakeholders in Leeds.
  • Regionally, there would be dissemination and sharing of findings across networks in West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS, Yorkshire and Humber, including the Practice and Research Collaborative (PaRC) and regional Directors of Public Health (DPH), as well as nationally through the Q Exchange, the Association of DPH and PHE.
  • Conference presentations and peer reviewed outputs will also be published in academic and public health practice based journals.

How you can contribute

  • We need some experts – please share your experience of tackling health inequalities with us.
  • And some collaborators – could you help us develop and embed our tools and approaches with others to grow their impact?
  • Any networkers out there – please introduce us to community builders and activators!
  • Are you a fixer – can you offer your time to help share views and experiences of inequality with us?
  • Could you be our critical friend – highlight what's good and what we could improve our project?
  • And if you are a fabulous promoter - would you be able to act as a champion to help us share our work on a regional, national and international platform?

Plan timeline

2 Mar 2021 Project team roll out implementation plan with THIG and CCG
8 Mar 2021 Project team deliver collaborative training on WSA / PBA with THIG
15 Mar 2021 Co-develop a WSA with THIG facilitated by LBU
22 Mar 2021 Co-develop a PBA with THIG facilitated by LBU
29 Mar 2021 LBU Researcher embedded in THIG meetings and activity for duration
6 Apr 2021 THIG driven by a WSA and PLA approach for duration
20 Apr 2021 Steering group and Project Group, meeting 1
30 Apr 2021 Standardised approach to tackling health inequalities across all H+C partners
10 May 2021 CoIN and LCPs embedded engagement mechanisms with most vulnerable
14 Jun 2021 Evaluate health inequalities prioritisation during restart of services/operations/procedures post COVID
6 Sep 2021 Partnership preventative programmes accelerated in localities e.g. ABCD
14 Sep 2021 Steering group and Project Group, meeting 2
22 Oct 2021 Collaboratively identify and remove barriers to accessing services
10 Dec 2021 Report on positive impacts and persistent challenges from CoIN/LCPs
14 Dec 2021 Steering group and Project Group, meeting 3.
11 Feb 2022 Project report and presentation completed by project team
11 Feb 2022 Report on efficacy of WSA and PBA within THIG completed
31 Mar 2022 Sharing learning through the Q-exchange and locally, regionally and nationally


  1. Hi Madi,

    Might be worth letting this Q SIG about health inequalities know about your project: - though their focus is Scotland...


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