The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme is keen to enable local government to be research active. One way it is doing this is through the Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams (PHIRST) scheme which enables evaluation of initiatives that local authorities have in place, providing research evidence to meet local government needs. Our funded research aims to help find out what impact these initiatives have on the health and health inequalities experienced by local populations.
The PHIRST scheme is fully-funded to co-design and co-produce evaluations of local authority initiatives in real-time. Our six PHIRST teams are currently supporting evaluation of over 30 initiatives, examples of which are listed below.
PHIRST projects - a sample of active and complete evaluations
- The 'No one left behind' project is the evaluation of the effectiveness of a newly commissioned employability service in Scotland.
- The impact of South Gloucestershire Council's Public Space Management programme on the population’s health is being evaluated through the 'COVID-19 public spaces management' project.
- The 'Free universal breakfast club and secondary school meals' project is evaluating a London based intervention, focusing on attainment and health impact and financial and social benefits.
- The impact of Mindset Teams on supporting resilience, health and wellbeing in primary school aged children in Scotland is currently being evaluated.
- The 'Essex Coronavirus Action Support (ECAS)' project is evaluating the impact of a digital community approach and non-traditional service delivery.
- An evaluation of the development of a specialist behaviour change unit in Hertfordshire and its contribution to local government, is underway.
- The impact of delivering the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) via a virtual platform for over-16s in Wales is in progress