Tackling health inequalities through partnerships

Is your Health or Wellbeing Partnership actually leading to improved health for local people and communities Durham University were commissioned by Local Government Improvement and Development to conduct a literature review into successful health partnerships. This section sets out the results of that literature review.

Durham University's School of Health supported by the IDeA's Healthy Communities Team is conducting research into the effectiveness of partnerships in improving health and tackling health inequalities through local area agreements (LAAs). Researchers at Durham University have conducted a systematic literature review into partnerships in public health. A summary of this review has just been published. The key findings will interest anyone who has responsibility for, or sits on a local health partnership:
  • most literature on partnerships focused on processes and structures and not outcomes
  • area-based partnerships did not achieve better improvements to population health in contrast to comparator areas
  • constantly changing priorities and structures may have a detrimental impact on partnerships
  • some partnerships suffer from not having appropriate or adequate financial or human resources
    In some partnerships many of the targets focused on partnership processes not health outcomes
  • local 'champions' were seen as crucial in partnerships


Over the next two years the project will follow up this review by studying a number of local authority/PCT health partnerships for evidence of actual improvements in health outcomes for local people and communities. Its findings should prove interesting. We'll keep you updated on progress through IDeA Knowledge.

Literature Review Summary (PDF, 6 pages, 37KB)

13 December 2011

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