Our National Leadership Area: Population Health

The 15 ARCs across England work together on a number of national leadership areas, led by specific ARCs. ARC North Thames is the lead for Population Health. In addition to providing expertise and advice in this area, we are developing research, training and networking opportunities to drive forward innovations in population health.

What is Population Health?

Population health refers to the health outcomes of a “population” and the distribution of these health outcomes within the group. It looks at the interrelated social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health of individuals and communities, and seeks to improve the health of the entire population through targeted public health interventions and policies.

Our health and care needs are changing. Now more than ever, our lifestyles are increasing our risk of preventable disease and are affecting our wellbeing. Life expectancy is increasing, but an ageing population is likely to increase the number of people living with multiple comorbidities – conditions like heart disease, cancer, dementia and asthma. This increases the demand and pressure on stretched health and care services. The poorest and most deprived groups in our population are disproportionately affected, which highlights inequality and inequity in health.


our leadership role

As part of our national leadership agenda, we are systematically embedding sustainable population health structures across multiple ARC regions, leading to closer collaboration between stakeholders and researchers in population health. We are work with communities, health and social care practitioners, commissioners and local government to respond to their most pressing issues, and co-producing interventions designed for rapid application locally, regionally and nationally.

Professor Rosalind Raine, Director of ARC North Thames, has met with a series of national leaders in Population Health as part of our national leadership role, to provide population health expertise to national initiatives. These include an invitation to join the Core20PLUS5 Collaborative of strategic partners and experts working to reduce and prevent healthcare inequalities, and to a Trustee appointment to the Tropical Health and Education Trust, a charity supporting Health Partnerships between UK and overseas hospitals, universities and research centres. 

Our research is looking at a wide range of determinants of health and wellbeing which influence the overall health of a population. Housing, education and employment affect population health, as can behavioural factors such as smoking, diet and alcohol consumption. 

Our RESEARCH in Population Health

Some of our key projects in population health include:


Training opportunities

Our ARC Academy provides training and engagement opportunities for our partner members and those working in applied health and care research. These training opportunities range from CPD workshops to mentoring and networking schemes to funded PhD studentships.

ARC Academy’s Introduction to Evaluation and Evidence in Practice courses have a strong population health focus. The Academy also supports capacity-building initiatives for research facilitation and research capacity building in public health teams based in local authority settings.



We are home to a thriving Local Authority Public Health Research Network (LAPHRN) for London and North Thames. Established in 2021, this network aims to identify, share, support and progress opportunities for generating robust academic research in local authority settings across the region and nationally. 

The network has been formed ‘from the ground up’, building on successful recent Covid-19 research-related collaborations between local government, regional partners and ARC North Thames. We are now running regular surgeries to discuss research priorities, and are a great way for research-active public health professionals working in local authorities to connect and develop their careers. 

The network is open to anybody with an interest in this area. Meetings of the network will take place 4-6 times a year. Visit Get Involved for further information.



Population Health Management and Inequalities: What can we learn and how can we learn it? 

On 10 June 2022, we hosted an event to bring together people working across population health management, public health, and academia to explore research priorities for population health management systems. Over 50 people with an interest in population health management (PHM) across different regions in England came together in person and online to discuss some important questions arising from the introduction of PHM in health and care systems in England.

The event will inform our leadership role in Population Health, as we go on to consider key questions such as:

  • What enablers and facilitators are required to make PHM work?
  • How can we build mutual accountability and trust around clinical governance and responsibility?
  • How can we address the (re)allocation of resources to address inequities?
  • How might patients and communities shape decisions about their care, as well as system structures?

Find out more about the event here.

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