• A scoping exercise of different approaches used to support evidence-informed policy and practice to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities in local government settings.
  • Aimed to build an understanding of how to embed a culture of evidence use in local government, including development of a logic model for embedding a research culture.
  • Carried out by Newcastle University, in partnership with Southampton University, Queens University Belfast and colleagues in four local authorities; Newcastle City Council, Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council and Belfast City Council.
  • Completed in September 2019.

The transition of public health responsibilities from the NHS to local government in England offers opportunities to make population health and wellbeing part of the core business – not only of public health departments, but of all departments in local authorities. It creates new opportunities and challenges to ensure the use of evidence is firmly embedded in an environment with a different contextual understanding of, and capacity for, the generation and use of evidence.

The research included:

  • a scoping exercise of the different approaches currently being used to support evidence-informed policy and practice in local government settings
  • development of a logic model for embedding a research culture within local government through a case study approach
  • learning from an embedded researcher working on an arts and health initiative
  • adjusting the logic model and developing recommendations for how the model could be generalised for use elsewhere in England and across different jurisdictions
  • testing the feasibility of approaches to evaluation.


  • a review of embedded research models with a specific focus on learning for embedded research in local government
  • a logic model for of the ‘what, why and how’ of embedding a research culture in local government in which the use of evidence and evaluation is established as usual practice
  • a summary report of the feasibility findings concerning the potential evaluation methods that could be used to measure the impact of local authority champions of research
  • presentation of main findings at The Lancet Public Health Science Conference (2019).

Future work:

  • a UKPRP consortium development grant has been awarded to further advance the project under the title of ‘ENABLE UK', ENABling Local authority evidence-based decision-making across the UK
  • the ENABLE UK consortium will look to deliver evidence-informed 'best practice' models to reduce non-communicable diseases and health inequalities. This will help shape public health infrastructure effectively to maximise population-level health improvement, through system-wide changes, transferable across Local Government throughout the UK
  • the consortium bid will be submitted in December 2020, with work commencing in 2021 if successful.

Contact details

Professor Ashley Adamson
Professor of Public Health Nutrition and NIHR Research Professor, Newcastle University

You might also like...


Webinar: Making healthy decisions on urban development and planning


Join us for the fourth and final webinar in this series sharing emerging findings from UKPRP-funded...



Webinar: After COP26 – what will it take to get the NHS to net zero?


A panel discussion exploring how the NHS can achieve net zero – from an international, national and...

Watch video


Webinar: What does the Spending Review mean for the NHS, social care and public health?


This webinar will explore what the Spending Review and the future funding picture means for the NHS,...

Watch video
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Do we need a vision for the future of primary care? Hear from Professor Katherine Checkland at @OfficialUoM on our… https://t.co/1FQNTw4VEc

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more