A GWENT council is to be awarded £4.5 million to research the impacts of inequality on health.
Torfaen Borough Council will work with Gwent’s Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and the University of South Wales on the six-year project funded by the UK Government backed National Institute of Health and Care Research.
It will look at how issues such as people’s financial position, housing, access to services and the environment among other factors impact their health.
Described as “determinants of health” those are already recognised by the council, which, along with others in Gwent and the health board, are committed to being a ‘Marmot’ region – named after Professor Sir Michael Marmot – meaning they should be at the centre of policy making across all public services.
The council intends to use the research gathered to support communities and reduce health inequalities with a dedicated staff team to support the research and put it into practice by working with community groups. Staff posts within the health board and university will also supported by the funding.
The council will spend this year developing its plan so that, from January 1, 2025, it can be recognised as a Health Determinants Research Collaboration. Over the following five years it will undertake research and apply for funding for research projects.
The council has also said it will have to prepare for the possibility the project may not be successful and be wound up and if so how it would consider redundancy costs.