SCHOPR, a group of major health research funders, has just published an important new set of public health research principles and goals aimed at driving impactful improvements in the UK’s health of the public research. Requested by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), these new recommendations were published at the end of last month (October 2019) in the report: SCHOPR Health of the Public Goals and Principles.
SCHOPR, the recently formed UK Strategic Co-ordinating Body for Health of the Public Research, was created in response to a recommendation in The Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) report, Health of the Public 2040 to help with “substantially, continually and sustainably improving health and health equity by identifying research needs and coordinating research activities”.
In September 2018, the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) requested that SCHOPR produce a set of public health research principles and goals to drive improvements in the UK’s public health research.
In July 2019, following extensive consultation with Government, research councils, charities and other interested groups, SCHOPR provided a paper to the CMOs setting out these goals.
The goals outlined in the paper are grouped across four themes – identified as major evidence gaps in current UK public health research – these are:
1. The environment – Environmental determinants of health – People and place
2. Life course – Early life and educational settings – Healthy working lives
3. Systems – Food systems – Health and care systems – Legal and fiscal levers
4. Innovation – Technology
The goals signal the work that SCHOPR will prioritise in its strategic coordination with funders of health of the public research. They broadly align with other strategies, such as the UK’s Industrial Strategy and the NHS Long Term Plan.
Academics from across Cambridge were respondents for the SCHOPR paper. Professor Carol Brayne, Director of Cambridge Institute of Public Health, who led the Faculty of Public Health’s submission for the SCHOPR report and who was also a member of the working group for the Academy of Medicine Sciences from which SCHOPR was created, says:
“The recommendations are a welcome call to develop research programmes that address major challenges societies face locally, nationally and internationally. Members from the Institute have played a major role in these recommendations and we hope that the public health research landscape of the future will provide evidence that really works for policy and practice.”
Read the full SCHOPR Health of the Public Goals and Principles paper.