Margaret Whitehead holds the W.H. Duncan Chair of Public Health, and is also the Head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Social Determinants of Health. Margaret has worked extensively on social inequalities in health and in health care, in particular the question of what can be done to reduce them.
Longstanding research interests have been the assessment of policies and strategies to tackle inequalities in health and in health care. The current research programme that Margaret Whitehead leads focuses on the social dimensions of ill-health. In particular it traces social pathways to and from health inequalities and what this means for developing more effective health and social policy. The programme explores not only the social causes of ill health, but also the adverse consequences of having a chronic illness, such as reduced income and employment chances, social isolation and stigma in relation to specific tracer conditions. With international collaborators, her studies are looking at the ways in which health and social welfare systems themselves reduce or exacerbate the adverse consequences of ill-health and what can be done to improve the situation. She is 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.
- Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (Royal Colleges of Physicians 2001)
- Visiting Professorship, Karolinska Institute, 2013-16 (Karoliska Institute, Stockholm 2013)
- Head of Department of Public Health and Policy, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society