Children in Scotland’s (CIS) Networking Event

SCPHRP at Children in Scotland’s Networking Event (September 19, 2017)

SCPHRP’s Hannah Biggs and Alexandra Blair attended Children in Scotland’s (CIS) Networking Event on September 19, 2017 at Dovecot Studios (Edinburgh). Over the course of the evening, CIS unveiled their new branding and premiered a short film outlining their vision. The event also presented a great opportunity to learn about CIS’ activities through a number of presentation and films about some of the work they have done in partnership. More broadly, the event was an opportunity to learn about the Third Sector’s involvement in advocacy for children’s rights and well-being and the insights from the evening will no doubt contribute to SCPHRP’s work on areas of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), health inequalities, and participatory research design.


New NHS Health Scotland Inequalities Briefings

NHS Health Scotland has just released the first in a series of regular briefings providing evidence-informed recommendations for tackling the inequalities in our society and their impact on people’s health. The first briefing ‘Health Inequalities: What are they? How can they be reduced?’ explains what health inequalities are, and the action required to reduce health inequalities at a national and a local level. The next briefing will cover ‘Good Work’ and will be published in August.  Two briefings will follow in September and will cover the ‘Right to Health’ and ‘Welfare’.

The briefings will be available at  You can also search for the briefings on Twitter using #inequalitybriefing.

If you would like to sign up for an email alert for these briefings, please email

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Seven Key Investments for Health Equity across the Lifecourse: Scotland versus the rest of the UK

A new research article from the SCPHRP team, led by Prof. John Frank, has explored the evidence supporting seven potential societal investments (aimed at different stages of the lifecourse) that could help improve health and reduce health inequalities. The research team used hard-to-find comparable analyses of routinely collected data to gauge the relative extent to which these investments have been pursued and achieved their expected goals in Scotland, as compared with England and Wales in recent decades.uk5Despite Scotland’s longstanding explicit goal of reducing health inequalities, it has recently been doing slightly better than England and Wales on only one broad indicator of health-equity-related investments: childhood poverty. However, on the following indicators of other ‘best investments for health equity’, Scotland has not achieved demonstrably more equitable outcomes by SEP than the rest of the UK: infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates; early childhood education implementation; standardised educational attainment after primary/secondary school; healthcare system access and performance; protection of the population from potentially hazardous patterns of food, drink and gambling use; unemployment.


The article is free to access by either clicking the image to the right, or using the link below.


Open Space on Health Inequalities in Scotland (Report)

This is a visual and written summary of an Open Space event on Health Inequalities that took place on 31st March 2015 at The Melting Pot in Edinburgh. The event was organised and facilitated by the Working Age/Adult Life Working Group of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP), University of Edinburgh. Funding for this event was part of the core funding grant provided to SCPHRP by the Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office. Twenty-five people attended the event, consisting of eight from the NHS/healthcare, five from community/voluntary organisations, nine from academic research and three from other sectors. We generated the following clustered bullet points based on our theme for the day (below). Participants grouped and named the topics discussed, before voting on the topics they felt needed the greatest priority for more discussion on the day and in the future.

An open space to discuss what you think health inequalities in Scotland will look like in the next decade and beyond, particularly related to emerging risk factors, health/wellbeing outcomes and potential solutions.


Click on the image for the report

For more information about the event or the Working Age/Adult Life Working Group, contact or see the relevant pages on this website


Open Space on Health Inequalities in Scotland: Emerging Risks and Opportunities for Change


For more information and to register

An open space to discuss what you think health inequalities in Scotland will look like in the next decade and beyond, particularly related to emerging risk factors, health/wellbeing outcomes and potential solutions given the current (and emerging) social and political landscape.

Summary of the event:
This free, one-day Open Space event organised by members of the Adult Life/Working Age Working Group at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP) aims to bring together people from across academia, healthcare, policy and the non-profit/voluntary sector working in Scotland to help identify emerging inequalities in the nation’s health and discuss realistic, yet creative, approaches to addressing these emerging risks. This is not a lecture, seminar or workshop, it’s an Open Space. Essentially, we provide the space, the structure and the sandwiches; you bring the burning questions and the ideas. There are no audience members, just participants.

This event aims to:
• Generate new ideas to help tackle health inequalities in Scotland
• Start to generate new networks who can help research/implement change around these emerging issues/solutions
• Document these ideas to share amongst the group

Following the event, we aim to:
• Produce a short briefing for policymakers and funders explaining where the group thinks health inequalities research should consider focusing in the next decade (in the context of Scotland’s new constitutional powers), and why
• Produce a short report for interested parties about the outcomes from the day
• Produce an academic article considering health inequalities research in the next decade in Scotland
• Organise future meetings/events on specific topics that emerge from the discussions on the day

10:00-10:30 Registration (tea/coffee available)
10:30-10:45 Welcome and introduction to the day (Tony Robertson, SCPHRP)
10:45-12:15 Marketplace of ideas
12:15-12:30 Coffee break
12:30-13:15 Break-out session 1
13:15-14:15 Lunch
14:15-15:00 Break-out session 2
15:00-15:15 Coffee break
15:15-16:00 Break-out session 3
16:00-16:30 Closing

For more information about Open Space and to register


Watch: Measuring Health Inequalities. Talks by Rob Young (Oxford) & Frank Popham (St Andrews)

Talk 1: Rob Young, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford: What is the shape of the dose-response relationship between markers of socioeconomic status and health status indicators?

The association between socioeconomic status (SES) and health status has been extensively studied as a linear one, but this assumption of linearity is rarely tested. We have developed a novel technique based on spline theory which calls turning points, known as ’€˜knots’€™, within this linear relationship. Both the number and the position of these knots can be estimated using various standard regression models. The results of this modelling are summarised graphically and by two summary statistics ’€“ the Population Attributable Risk (PAR) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII). We have used this approach to observe a significant increase in the strength of the positive association between the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and the rate of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse after reaching the bottom 10% of SIMD scores. When modelling a categorical variable such as education status we find that accounting for the population distribution can remove significant non-linearity even when analysing individual-level data. This new method improves the accuracy of traditional regression modelling while preserving much of its parsimony and, with the use of standard reporting statistics, its ease of interpretation.

Rob Young has just completed a six-month fellowship at the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy looking at non-linearity in the relationship between SES markers and health status indicators. This fellowship was a break at the end of the 3rd year of his DPhil based in the MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford where he worked both computationally and experimentally on noncoding RNAs in the fruit-fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Talk 2: Frank Popham, School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews: Comparing health inequalities in Scotland to elsewhere in Europe.

There is growing interest in how the extent of socio-economic inequalities in morbidity and mortality varies across countries. In Europe there have been a number of major comparative studies, the most recent of which covered data from the 1990s. However, Scotland has not been included in this work. So using data from the 1990s and 2000s the aim of the project was to replicate the most recent European work in Scotland. This talk will present the results.

Frank Popham is a research fellow in the School of Geography and Geosciences at the University of St Andrews. He has a social science background and his main research interests are health inequalities and population health.


John Frank & Sally Haw: Measuring and Monitoring Scotland’€™s Health Inequalities: New Approaches

Rob Young – hat is the shape of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health status?

Frank Popham – Comparing health inequalities in Scotland to elsewhere in Europe