Photo of Prof Dame Margaret Whitehead

Prof Dame Margaret Whitehead DBE, PhD, FFPH, FMedSci

WH Duncan Professor of Public Health Public Health, Policy & Systems

Research

Health inequalities

My current research with UK and international colleagues centres on innovative ways of evaluating the health inequalities impact of complex social interventions and natural policy experiments which influence the social determinants of health. This includes theory development, quantitative causal inference methods and qualitative inquiry to draw in the lived experience of people in contrasting socioeconomic circumstances, funded by EU, ESRC, NIHR.

Current research work includes assessment of:

a) the impact of national welfare reforms on child health inequalities and the effect of NHS and local authority resource allocation strategies. Some of this work is being carried out through LiLaC, the Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research, of which I am Co-Director. LiLaC is one of the eight institutional members of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR), first and second quinquennium (2012-2017 and 2017-2022);
b) the role of ‘control over destiny’ as a determinant of population health and the effect of children’s services on child health inequalities, through the UK Public Health Research Consortium, now the NIHR Public Health Policy Research Unit (2019-2024), for which I am Liverpool lead;
c) the longer term impact of a major UK community empowerment initiative, through the Communities in Control Study, 2018-2021, funded by the NIHR Public Health Research Programme.

I am keenly involved in knowledge transfer: finding ways for research evidence to get to where it can be most useful in informing policy-making and public health practice.

Research Grants

Evaluating the impacts of universal policies on child health inequalities: how best can we exploit the predictive value of the integrated pre-school checks?

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

February 2017 - March 2019

What are the health and health inequalities impacts of the Big Local community empowerment initiative in England?

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

March 2018 - May 2021

Mapping the literature on interventions to tackle the disability‐employment gaps

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

November 2016 - October 2017

Tackling health inequalities and extending working lives (THRIVE).

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ESRC)

April 2016 - September 2019

Public Health Research Consortium.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

January 2005 - December 2009

The effect of socioeconomic status on outcomes people with cystic fibrosis: A longitudinal study.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (MRC)

September 2009 - December 2014

Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research (LiLaC 2)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

April 2017 - March 2022

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR), LIVERPOOL CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP (UK)

October 2019 - September 2024

Developing Methodologies to Reduce Inequalities in the Determinants of Health DEMETRIQ

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

January 2012 - June 2015

Health Protection Research Unit (Gastrointestinal Infections)

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (UK) (NIHR)

April 2014 - March 2020

Research Collaborations

Department of Health Policy Research Programme

External: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Liverpool team, led by Margaret Whitehead, is one of 11 insitutional members of the Department of Health's Public Health Research Consortium, funded from 2005-2016, to conduct public health policy research.

NIHR School of Public Health Research

External: The University of Sheffield, University of Cambridge, University of Bristol, University College London, University of Exeter, FUSE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & LILAC

The Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster have formed a joint venture called LiLaC, which is one of 8 institutional members of the NIHR SChool of Public Health Research, funded for 5 years 9April 2012-March 2017) to conduct applied public health research