Photo of Prof Dame Margaret Whitehead

Prof Dame Margaret Whitehead DBE, PhD, FFPH, FMedSci

WH Duncan Professor of Public Health Public Health and Policy


Research Interest 1

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.

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?
  • What are the health and health inequalities impacts of the Big Local community empowerment initiative in England?
  • Mapping the literature on interventions to tackle the disability‐employment gaps
  • Tackling health inequalities and extending working lives (THRIVE).
  • Public Health Research Consortium.
  • The effect of socioeconomic status on outcomes people with cystic fibrosis: A longitudinal study.
  • LiLaC
  • Developing Methodologies to Reduce Inequalities in the Determinants of Health DEMETRIQ
  • Health Protection Research Unit (Gastrointestinal Infections)
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

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