Policy Research on Social Determinants and Health Inequalities

Our Research

Our research focuses on services and systems for health and well-being operating at the community and population levels, seeking to understand how to improve the systems that society needs to put in place to promote, sustain and protect health, prevent disease and care for the sick.

We have four current research themes:

  1. Identifying and improving equitable access to effective preventive and curative services
  2. Improving public-professional engagement processes
  3. Understanding pathways to and from inequalities in health, including the differential social and economic impact of ill-health across society
  4. Evaluating complex interventions to tackle wider social determinants of health and wellbeing – including innovative evidence synthesis methods

The group has particular strengths in intervention research; engagement with the policy and practice communities throughout the R&D process to ensure policy-relevance; and incorporation of the experiences of people in their day-to-day lives – hence the substantial expertise in qualitative work and the hosting of the Social Science in Health and Medicine Research Collaborative.

The research group hosts the following research initiatives:

  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on Determinants of Health Equity
    This Centre investigates the social dimensions of ill-health, in particular social pathways to and from health inequalities and what can be done about them. Read more
  • LILAC (Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research)
    LiLaC's mission is to produce evidence on how to tackle inequalities in health through action on the upstream causes of inequalities - these are the conditions in which we live or work and where children grow up or people grow old. Read more
  • The Governance of Health: Medical, Economic and Managerial Expertise in Britain Since 1948
    The aim of this project is to understand the evolving and interrelated levels of authority held by expert advisers to the NHS, and the consequences for health policy development in Britain since 1948. Read more

It contributes to the following Institute and Faculty-wide initiatives:

  • NIHR Public Health Research Consortium
    The Public Health Research Consortium (PHRC) brings together senior researchers from 11 UK institutions in a new integrated programme of research, with the aim of strengthening the evidence base for interventions to improve health, with a strong emphasis on tackling socioeconomic inequalities in health. Our Department hosts the Liverpool Centre for the PHRC. Read more
  • NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections
    The NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections explores and explains the distribution of diarrhoeal diseases in the population, establishing for whom the disease burden is greatest and why. Our Department leads on the People Theme of this Unit. Read more
  • IMPACT (International Health Impact Assessment Consortium)
    IMPACT aims to improve health and reduce health inequalities locally, nationally and internationally, by promoting the integration of Health Impact Assessments (HIA) into policy planning to achieve Health in All Policies. Read more