MA Funding Opportunities

This may be of interest:

“I am very glad to announce a funding opportunity for MA research on home at Queen Mary, University of London for 2016/17:

Walter Oldershaw Awards (eight awards of £3000 each; deadline 5pm on Wednesday 10 August) across the range of MA/MSc programmes in Geography at QMUL, including the following collaborative research opportunities on MA Geography (full-time or part-time):

  •   with the Geffrye Museum of the Home via Centre for Studies of Home on past and present homes, including research on home, migration and the city.
  •      with Eastside Community Heritage on community heritage, identity, migration and urban change.

Please follow these links to our webpages to find out more about the Walter Oldershaw Awards

The Isle of Sheppey – a unique place

Edwin Chadwick said of Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent:

Screenshot“The surprise is, not so much that one man here and there reels home drunk, and a savage … into filthy and diseased houses … The process of the physical deterioration of workmen and their families who are drawn into insanitary conditions about places of work, is illustrated by the Government works at Sheerness.”

With such a naval tradition, it’s surprising that Sheppey hasn’t attracted greater attention. But the island’s history also reflects its status as a small island, the changing nature of the English seaside resort, gender roles in history, decline and regeneration, the epidemiologic transition and much more besides.

We have been lucky enough to focus on its public health history and produce Occasional Paper No. 3. It has been a fascinating but enormous task. To obtain a copy, click here. We hope you will enjoy reading this and maybe be inspired to investigate more yourself!

Jill, David and Jim

Guest Blog from Canada!

We are delighted – through UKEHRNet – to have made links with environmental health colleagues in Canada who are doing some fascinating work. Here, Karen Rideout (BCCDC and NCCEH) and Dianne Oickle (NCCDH) introduce their work.

I hope you enjoy exploring the links, Jill.


Integrating health equity and environmental public health practice in Canada

A number of resources from environmental public health colleagues in Canada are now available.

The National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) and the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) collaborated on a qualitative study that explored the role of environmental public health practitioners in addressing the social determinants of health (SDH) and health equity related issues that may present as barriers to compliance with health protection regulations. Results and recommendations from the study were released in a report titled Equity in environmental health practice:  Findings of a pilot study.

A new section on the BC Centre for Disease Control website is dedicated to Health Equity and Environmental Health. These new pages provide health equity and SDH resources for environmental health practitioners. It is the new online home for the Through an Equity Lens: A New Look at Environmental Health project, and also includes links to external resources.

Current highlights include:

The Health Equity and Environmental Health web pages will be updated regularly as new resources are posted. Resources about facilitators and barriers to integrating an equity lens in practice, policy levers for equity-oriented environmental health practice, and a framework for action will be posted in summer 2016.

NCCDH also produced a series of blogs highlighting examples of how environmental public health practitioners have addressed SDH and health equity in their work.  Health equity and environmental public health practice: Stories from public health inspectors shares three practice stories representing real actions that can be taken at a different levels of environmental public health practice.


The new ‘nomads’?

People often ask me what I think the most important housing and health issue is. It’s a hard question to answer – there are multiple and complex stressors – but the issue of secure tenure (or lack of…) and the instability it causes in peoples lives has to be a priority and for so many reasons.

This new research from Shelter explores the issues facing ‘nearly nomadic renters’ and what it really means for people, most particularly those with children.

Let’s not forget that the Marmot Review’s main policy objectives to tackle key health inequalities include giving every child the best start in life; and to enable children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives.

Is it really too much to expect that everyone’s house can also be their long term, secure home?


National Hoarding Week

Did you know that this week is national hoarding awareness week and events such as this one by Horizon Amicus are being run.

We are delighted to post Ellis Turner’s blog today:

When I first started as a practitioner mine and others response to a complaint about a “filthy and verminous” property was to simply assess for pest infestations and human waste outside the toilet pan and of course notify social services. Most of us have all had experience of blitz cleans and met some very intelligent and interesting people.

On reflection I and other professionals have tackled the symptoms and have not always been able to tackle the cause of hoarding behaviour. Collectively we have invested time, energy and resources into housing, tenancy and often severe legal interventions with a wide range and at times extreme and occasionally sad outcomes.

Last year I was pleased to be part of a cross disciplinary working group that set out to develop tools and awareness of the significant impact and gap in service provision of supporting those experiencing hoarding behaviour.

Islington now has hoarding panel to co-ordinate action on the most extreme case (similar to the MARAC Multi-Agency-Risk-Assessment-Conference) model and has developed a protocol and fact sheet which forms part of our joint strategic needs assessment.

For some other useful resources, click on the links below:

What is clear to me is that only through co-ordinated action, support and advocacy from all health, social care, public health practitioners and third sector can we start to help support those experiencing hoarding behaviour. The mental capacity act code of practice on capacity assessments is a good place to start and ensuring the capacity assessment is specific to “capacity to clean and tidy one’s home”

Other countries like the US are a bit ahead of us on understanding hoarding and have recognised this as diagnosable condition, which then in turn opens the door to treatments and advocacy for those experiencing hoarding behaviour. The one big change I have made though is to stop saying hoarding disorder and to start talking about hoarding behaviour.

Special thanks to Shadia-Ousta Doerfel at Islington Council and Megan Khans at Hoarding UK

(Ellis ends)


At EHRNet we would be very pleased to hear of other useful open access resources, and will set up an open access resources page similar to our others.


Cold homes: New Toolkit and the challenges for HMOs

We are delighted to post information on this new publication, the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s (CSE) Affordable Warmth and Health Impact Evaluation Toolkit (April 2016).

This toolkit is available to help local organisations assess what difference their fuel poverty schemes make to the health and wellbeing of target users. It’s been developed by Centre for Sustainable Energy’s research team in partnership with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and with oversight by experts in the fields of health and evaluation from a number of organisations, including Department for Health, Public Health England and a range of front line delivery organisations.

Senior Researcher Nicky Hodges led the work at CSE. She said:

“This is a useful tool to show whether improvements in people’s health are linked to the interventions they’ve been offered. Schemes at the local level are very diverse so we’ve built flexibility into the tool to deal with this. We hope that this tool with help organisations demonstrate the contribution their scheme makes to people’s health and wellbeing.”

William Boohan, at DECC, commented that:

“This toolkit was born out of conversations with local groups who told us that, though they knew evaluation to be a useful tool to validate what they were doing, they didn’t always have the resources or expertise to carry one out. We hope this toolkit will help redress that situation.”

The toolkit includes case study examples of affordable warmth schemes that have incorporated health impact evaluation. It provides guidance on planning and resourcing an evaluation, making sure you collect appropriate data, suggestions on working with the health sector, thinking through ethical considerations and reporting with impact. It is a free resource. By supporting evaluation of the health impacts of schemes, the toolkit is anticipated to help unlock funding held at the local level.

DECC and CSE would be happy to hear of your experiences using this toolkit and to take on board ideas for how it could be improved.

And in addition! More good news is the ongoing research into energy efficiency and fuel poverty in houses in multiple occupation.  We have just been alerted to this open access paper from People, Place and Policy: Energy vulnerability in multiple occupancy housing: a problem that policy forgot – a title that says it all really. It is an essential read for anyone working in HMOs and for us we are particularly excited that it includes reference to some of work (see references from Barratt and Stewart). Of the Stewart (1999) paper I would like to mention that this was my first peer reviewed publication but although dated in places, is still being read. It shows the importance of our work to a far wider audience and what may be routine for us is of immense interest to others.