Colleagues from the Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) attended the South East Public Health Conference 2023 - Opportunities for Action on Health Inequalities in Eastbourne last month. 

Hosted by East Sussex County Council in conjunction with the Association of Directors of Public Health Southeast Network, the Local Government Association, NHS England, Health Education England, The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the UK Health Security Agency, the event, that took place over two days, (23 and 24 March), bought together 400 colleagues and partners from across the southeast region to reflect and share learning on the opportunities and challenges for public health practice in 2023 and beyond.

As part of the conference, presentations were delivered by Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, the UK government's Chief Medical Advisor and head of the public health profession. and former Head of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), as well as by Dr Jessica Allen, Deputy Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity.

Twelve workshops showcasing and sharing learning from a wide range of public health programmes and research by various organisations within the South East took place. As part of this, ARC KSS colleagues were given the opportunity to present their posters on research projects they have been a part of.

Georgie Gremesty, ARC KSS Implementation Research Assistant, presented a poster on the work she has done that measures the impact of the Beyond Lockdown project that looked into the needs of care-leavers during and after the pandemic.

The poster focused on the first part of the impact project which involved interviewing stakeholders regarding their pledges that were made to support care-leavers following the dissemination of the beyond lockdown key messages.

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Lavinia Bertini, ARC KSS Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, presented a poster on COVID-19 management in social care in England: a review of changing policies and newspaper reported staff perspectives. Lavinia also gave a presentation on “'What support do social care workers need in an epidemic context? A qualitative study in the South east of England during the COVID-19 pre-vaccination era'.

Devyn Glass, ARC KSS Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, presented a poster on the Primary and Community Health Services Community priority setting exercise with public members in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

The community priority setting exercise highlights the areas of need for members of the public in the South East. It is important that research and health strategies are guided by the needs of the communities which it serves.

Dr Elizabeth Ford, ARC KSS Data Science Lead, gave a presentation on her collaboration with Sussex Local Authorities exploring a novel linked anonymised dataset of health and social care records for examining health inequalities.

Elizabeth said:

“It was a busy, interesting and productive conference, and really nice to see my public health colleagues from Sussex local authorities, in person, for the first time since our collaboration started over two and a half years ago”.

For more information on any of these research project please visit the ARC KSS website.


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