The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) is an innovative partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire University. Its purpose is to contribute to the reduction of social and health inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of our local population through carrying out high quality translational and internationally recognised research. The CHAD partnership, bringing together local government, academia and local communities, has been endorsed by Sir Michael Marmot as being ‘exactly what is needed’ to tackle heath inequalities and address the social determinants of health. View here.
CHAD vision is to be locally relevant and internationally excellent, and our strategy is based on the principles of ‘assets based’ working. An assets based approach recognises and values the talents and strengths of our local communities, partners and wider university in carrying out research to reduce health inequalities and puts community at the heart of research planning, delivery and dissemination.
There are three strands of CHAD which align directly with the Staffordshire University’s strategy of being a ‘connected University’. They are connecting through: – high quality research; community partnerships; and innovation and applied learning. These strands are clearly interrelated and alignment with the University strategy supports CHAD to develop as an inter-disciplinary, university wide centre focused on the science and application of health equity research
CHAD is committed to collaboration as a vehicle for delivering against its commitment to being locally relevant and making a tangible difference to people’s lives. CHAD is connecting with academics across disciplines to build a multi-disciplinary network (within and outside Staffordshire University) necessary for research that can address the broad societal challenge of health inequalities. It also has community at its heart and is taking an assets based approach to involving local people in research in ways which recognise and value their contribution.
In a time of diminishing public sector resources and evidence of increasing health inequalities the two Local Authorities recognised the need to be able to evidence effectiveness of public health interventions locally, whilst developing the evidence base of not only what works, but how interventions work to improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. In partnership with Staffordshire University they identified 3 years of funding to establish CHAD as centre for translational research which would focus on health and social inequalities and respond to local priorities as identified by the health and wellbeing boards, JSNA and community voice. The funding for CHAD was made available for three years, from July 2015 to August 2018, and CHAD has been fully operational from July 2016
Collaboration is at the heart of CHAD delivery. We have a developed an infrastructure based around the three strands of CHAD which enables us to engage with a wide range of partners proactively, and to maximise the assets available to us. This includes the development of virtual teams to lead on our priority theme areas.