North East welcomes more than 300 health research experts to global conference
Experts in public health and social medicine will gather in Newcastle today (Wednesday 6 September) for a three-day international conference which will cover some of the most pressing issues facing global population health.
More than 300 delegates from across the UK, Ireland and beyond will attend the Society for Social Medicine and Population Health (SSM) Annual Scientific Meeting at Newcastle University, to share new and significant research on topics including infectious diseases, housing and health, the environmental impact on health, weight management and nutrition, food policy, women’s health, children and young people’s health, mental health, health inequalities, maternal health, healthy ageing, and more.
The Society for Social Medicine and Population Health (SSM) is devoted to the study of health in its widest sense, particularly the wider social factors that influence our health – such as income and poverty, education, environmental factors like housing and transport, alongside health care and genetic influences. The Society aims to promote the development of scientific knowledge in social medicine, and it brings together leading academic experts in population health research from the UK, Ireland, and beyond.
The SSM conference, which is held annually by the Society, is now in its 67th year. It will be jointly hosted by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC) across the Newcastle University campus.
The two host organisations, which are based in the North East, lead and support the development of research and evidence that is being used to improve health and care, and tackle health inequalities across the North East and North Cumbria, and beyond.
The event will feature talks on over 200 research projects linked to social medicine and population health, and anchored by key lectures from two influential health and care change-makers:
Professor Anthony Costello from University College London – trained in paediatrics, he is founder and chair of the international Lancet Countdown for Climate Action and Health, and senior adviser to the Children in All Policies 2030 programme supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) UNICEF and the Lancet. He was a co-founder of Independent SAGE which aimed to bring a greater focus on public health, transparency, and public engagement to the UK Covid response. His session (the Pemberton Lecture) will discuss building a healthy future for our children.
Dr Margaret McCartney – a Glasgow-based GP and honorary lecturer at the University of St Andrews. Dr McCartney is an experienced, prize-winning writer, author and broadcaster, and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health. She has also authored three top-selling science books, The Patient Paradox, The State of Medicine, and Living with Dying. Her talk (the Cochrane Lecture) will discuss why strong evidence and research is critical when it comes to making decisions around health and care.
“I don’t think there has ever been a time when we should be more focussed on public health, than now.”
Ashley Adamson, Fuse Director
Professor Ashley Adamson, from Newcastle University, is Director of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health. She is also the Director of the National Institute for Health and Social Care (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (SPHR).
She said: “I don’t think there has ever been a time when we should be more focussed on public health, than now. We have emerged from a pandemic that has highlighted health inequalities across the UK – inequalities that we have known about for a long time but that have so far been left unaddressed. We know that issues such as cardio-vascular diseases, obesity, mental health conditions, and deaths from preventable illnesses caused by alcohol or smoking, are significantly higher in areas of deprivation or in communities where there is poor access to health care, or where low levels of literacy or language barriers mean people can’t get the help they need. We also have the urgent issue of climate change to bring into focus - which we expect will make many of these public health issues more severe and prevalent; with extreme weather such as heat waves, rising prices of food, homes that are too hot or too cold for good health, reduced air quality and more, all having a significant impact on our health.”
“We have much to do to improve the health of our population, and we hope that the work that will be shared and discussed at this event will go on to make a real difference in improving public health in the UK and beyond.”
Professor Eileen Kaner, from Newcastle University, is Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC).
She said: “Good research provides strong evidence to shape better services and helps us to improve health and care for everyone, no matter where they live, their background, or their age. It is critical that health and care decisions made at a local, national, and global level are based on evidence. It’s also important that the research we carry out as academics can make its way into health services and used to improve care - and there is already lots of work going on in our region and beyond to make sure that this happens.
“We’re really pleased that we’ve been able to bring this major conference to the North East and we’re looking forward to welcoming more than 300 delegates to Newcastle over the course of the event.”
The Society for Social Medicine and Population Health (SSM) 67th Annual Conference 2023 takes place from 9.30 am on Wednesday 6 September until 1pm on Friday 8 September, at Newcastle University.
It is has been brought to the region by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC).
Ticket sales are now closed but you can follow the event on Twitter @SocSocMed or by using #SSM2023
You can also see the event programme, including an overview of the 200-plus research projects being shared, on the conference website, here.
About the Society for Social Medicine and Population Health
The Society for Social Medicine and Population Health (SSM) (founded in 1956) is a multidisciplinary academic society of leading experts in population health research from the UK, Ireland, and beyond with an aim of advancing knowledge for population health.
It is devoted to the study of health in its widest sense and recognises the broad determinants of health – income and poverty, education, environmental factors such as housing and transport – as well as health care and genetic influences. It aims to promote the development of scientific knowledge in social medicine. This covers a range of subjects, including epidemiology, the medical and health needs of society, the provision and organisation of health services and the prevention of disease.
The Society’s four key aims are: providing an expert voice for population health; promoting high-quality research and methodological rigour; supporting members across their career life course; fostering and facilitating multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Fuse is a partnership of public health researchers from the five universities in North East England of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside. The Centre works with policy makers, practice partners, the public, and voluntary and community organisations, to improve health and wellbeing and tackle health inequalities. Fuse is also a founding member of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR).
About the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North East and North Cumbria (NENC)
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is the research partner of the NHS, public health and social care.
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) is funded by the NIHR. It is a regional research partnership that brings together six universities, health and social care providers, local authorities, the voluntary sector, community groups, members of the public and others. Working together, its vision is to deliver ‘better, fairer health and care at all ages and in all places’ – and its work is organised around seven key research themes: Inequalities and marginalised communities; Prevention, early intervention, and behaviour change; Supporting children and families; Multi-morbidity, ageing and frailty; Integrating mental and physical health and social care; Knowledge mobilisation and implementation; and Research methodologies.
Last modified: Wed, 06 Sep 2023 07:50:26 BST