The HDRC is establishing a research infrastructure to reduce health inequalities and improve the health of Coventry residents. By creating a dynamic and sustainable research infrastructure and working with the people of Coventry to identify their needs and priorities, we will stimulate, support and disseminate research to identify evidence-based solutions to the factors impacting people’s health.

Not only will this transform our approach to research and the impact it has on our city and residents, but ultimately support the establishment of robust approaches to tackling health inequalities in the city and improving the health of residents.

Current HDRC research projects 

Below are a range of research projects that the HDRC are currently supporting.  

This list will be updated quarterly. If you have any questions about the research projects, please contact the HDRC team by email:   

Healthy Homes NIHR Research Application  

The HDRC Evidence Synthesis Research Fellow is co-applicant in a for NIHR Public Health Research Programme funding into the Barriers to Home Energy Efficiency Improvements and Impact on Health Outcomes. 

Report | Evidence on barriers to uptake of funding schemes for retrofitting/energy efficiency improvements to housing

Digital Inclusion Service evaluations  

The HDRC is providing advice on research and evaluation methods to the #CovConnects team and facilitation of links to academic research collaborators. Currently supporting initiatives such as the evaluation of approaches to access broadband for housing tenants in Coventry.  

Marmot Partnership projects evaluation  

The HDRC team is working with the Marmot Partnership to identify evaluation opportunities and research priorities. Evidence reviews and research from the HDRC will be publicised via the Marmot Monitoring tool webpage.  

Green spaces & community involvement research   

The HDRC is supporting the Council Ecology & Sustainability team to apply for grant funding for the development of green spaces and community involvement methods to inform the council green space policy. 

Mixer events  

In March 2024, Coventry University Impact team hosted an event with to introduce the HDRC to its staff and facilitate networking for future research collaborations. The event had 80 attendees with many discussions around building blocks of health such as digital inclusion, housing, transport, economic development, sustainability, food systems and more. Find out more about the first event here. 

Employment and skills - Job Shop Evaluation   

The HDRC is exploring the potential to conduct research into the impact of the Job shop and findings from a rapid literature review have already been circulated. An assessment of the Job Shops database for research has been conducted and a potential cohort study embedded in the Job Shop (led by Warwick Medical School) is currently being scoped.   

Report | Job shop evidence scoping

Employment & Skills - Green Skills & Health Inequalities Scoping Review  

A rapid scoping review of local authority/industry initiatives around certain ‘green skills’ have been identified as being important to Coventry (retrofitting of housing stock, electric vehicles, and batteries) to inform policy. Relevant reports have been identified and are being synthesised to be shared with the Employment and Skills service to further inform their knowledge. 

Report | Green skills evidence synthesis

Economic Development  

The HDRC has been leading exploratory conversations relating to research options into maximising social value opportunities in Coventry. A literature review of social value initiatives in English local authorities is being produced ahead of a meeting including Sandwell Council and interested academics are being identified.  

Report | What are other local authorities doing around social value?

A spotlight on recent external research / reports:

Below are a range of external reports or research papers relevant to health determinants that we hope you will find a useful resouce.

This list is updated each month, to be the first to recieve them, sign up to the HDRC newsletter.

May 2024 

England’s Widening Health Gap: Local Places Falling Behind, a new report from The Institute of Health Equity found widening inequalities in life expectancy between regions in England since 2010, and that 17 local authorities that have had statistically significant increase in inequalities in life expectancy.   

April 2024

This The Conversation article discusses Awaab’s law and the need for a new approach to housing to ensure healthy homes for all.

A new report from The Health Foundation, Health inequalities in 2040, projects how health inequalities will look in 2040 should current trends continue. It suggests that 80% of the people of working-age living with a major illness will be concentrated in more deprived areas. To tackle this, major progress will be needed across government to address the determinants of someone’s health – such as housing, income, and employment. They discuss addressing these ‘building blocks’ in local government here.  

The Centre for Urban Wellbeing at the University of Birmingham recently hosted a webinar on Urban Wellbeing in Policy. The recording and related publications are available here. The webinar covered: influencing regional policy, collaboration and use of evidence, coproduction, and highlighted lessons learned from a research project which developed a community-policy-research ecosystem to address urban health and wellbeing inequalities. 

March 2024

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands ‘Lunch & Learn’ series

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands have launched a 'lunch & learn' series of 20 webinars on research. The series includes sessions on methods, academic writing and skills, and implementation and dissemination.

A Resolution Foundation report, funded by The Health Foundation, looked at the role of young people's mental health on employment and education through quantitative analyses and focus groups. They use this research to come up with key policy recommendations, such as increasing the mental health awareness of managers in sectors that employ young people, and increasing advice available for non-university career paths.  

Children and Young People’s Health Equity Collaborative: Framework for the Drivers of Health Inequalities

The charity Barnodo’s, with the Institute of Health Equity at University College London and several Integrated Care Systems in England, have produced a children and young people’s health equity framework. The framework highlights how socioeconomic systems, social factors, and living conditions affect young people’s health and their interactions with health and wellbeing systems and services.

The King’s Fund Poverty and ill health: what’s the connection? 

In a long read, The King’s Fund discuss the links between poverty and prevalence of ill health, access to healthcare, and poorer health outcomes.

February 2024

Prioritising early childhood to promote the nation’s health, wellbeing and prosperity

This report from The Academy of Medical Sciences outlines several research and policy objectives that should be prioritised by current and future Governments to reduce inequalities in early childhood

Health Inequalities, Lives Cut Short

A report from the Institute of Health Equity has confirmed that a million people in 90% of areas in England lived shorter lives than they should between 2011 and the start of the pandemic.

TRUUD briefing note: Using lay knowledge to transform understanding of links between the built environment and health

This briefing note from TRUUD (Tackling Root Causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development) discusses how different forms of knowledge, particularly those from the public, can provide valuable insight into the connections between where people live and their health.  

Q&A by The Health Foundation discusses how work to improve the way health data is used in relation to local places can lead to better decision making and action on health inequalities.

January 2024 

Coventry uses Marmot review to fight inequality

In 2013, Coventry city council decided to become a self-described “Marmot city” to improve wellbeing and reduce disparities in health outcomes within the local population. Since becoming a Marmot city, Coventry’s outcomes regarding health and inequalities have improved.

Politicians must give us hope for a better future

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the Coventry HDRC steering committee and Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity has written an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal highlighting that 'we know what we need to do to improve health and reduce inequalities, now we need politicians to act'.

Climate change: Health effects in the UK

The report finds that the health implications of climate change will correspond with existing gradients in health and inequality. Those less able to control their environment, adapt their behaviours, or respond to new risks will be particularly vulnerable, including children, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, and people in certain settings such as prisons, schools and social care. 

Inequalities amplified: The alarming rise of child poverty in the UK

This report brings together the expertise of three organisations: Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), Runnymede Trust and Women’s Budget Group to understand why Black and minority ethnic children are more likely to grow
up in poverty, how this links to wider racial and gender disparities and what can be done to reduce child poverty and create a more equal society.



The NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC) Coventry is part of the NIHR and hosted by Coventry City Council.

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