New scheme to improve health and tackle inequalities

Our research centre, the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health and Research Policy, is involved in this new scheme which aims to create rapid research evidence to maximise Local Authority influence on health and inequalities.

A UK wide collaboration, led by Fuse, has been awarded prestigious funding to pilot a new national scheme that will enable Local Authorities to rapidly evaluate work aiming to improve health and tackle inequalities in their areas.

The government has funded the new scheme with £1.5 million for the collaboration between Fuse, SCPHRP at the University of Edinburgh, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield.

SCPHRP​​​​ is delighted to be involved in this initiative and pleased that the first PHIRST evaluation will be led by SCPHRP and the University of Glasgow. An evaluation of the 'No One Left Behind' employability system in Fife.

Professor Ruth Jepson
SCPHRP Director

The new team team will co-produce its first project in collaboration with Fife Council and Fife Voluntary Action to evaluate their citizen-informed design of employment support in Fife, which applies the Scottish Government’s most recent policy framework for tackling employment issues: No One Left Behind (NOLB). There will be further calls from NIHR for proposals from local government.  

If the three year scheme is successful then it is hoped to make it a rolling programme.


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will fund the Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Team (PHIRST) to provide timely and accessible research to local authorities that are keen to have their work evaluated.

It is one of only four academic teams ready and waiting, fully-funded by the NIHR, to evaluate schemes that are happening in local government across the UK. The team will work closely with each local authority to co-create the evaluation.

The PHIRST, led by Fuse Director Ashley Adamson from Newcastle University, brings together a team with many years of experience in working with local and national government, public health practitioners and communities to undertake research that can provide the evidence needed to support the policies and programmes.

If you would like to get in touch about the project please email:

Related links

NIHR website

FUSE website

PHIRST NIHR blog by Dr Helen Walters

No One Left Behind employability system in Fife