Bridging policy & practice with research – 12th Nov. 2015 CIEH conference at Middlesex University

Alan has been assisting the CIEH Education and Research Special Interest Group with the organisation of its annual research conference.

He’s hosting the all day event at Middlesex University on 12th November 2015:

“Environmental Health Practitioners have a wealth of work experience, which often goes unshared with colleagues within their field.

Many believe research and publication is only for academics but your professional experiences will be of value in informing professional practice articles, local presentations, posting case studies and story-telling.

This conference is aimed at EHPs and EH students, to demonstrate why we need research skills to evidence base our work, to share our experiences, and practical ideas on where to start”

For further information please visit:

We hope to see you there…

With best wishes, Rob

How do I offer a room to a refugee?

The situation is Calais is just one representation of the massive human migration we are currently witnessing and Rob’s blog, based on Surindar and her colleagues’ work (click here) helps us all to understand a bit more about the desperate situation thousands of people continue to face.

The thing is, we can individually feel pretty helpless to know what best we can do about it and how we can help both the immediate and long term situation. For those wanting to do something, the Guardian’s article How do I offer room to a refugee? offers some pointers on practical options and well as influencing longer term policy change.

With best wishes, Jill

Managing Houses in Multiple Occupation – Caroline’s latest paper…

Although Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are becoming the subject of growing academic research, what is known about how HMOs are managed and run remains very limited.   HMOs are often viewed as a problematic housing type associated with ‘studentification’ in communities located close to universities and anti-social behaviour in deprived seaside towns.  However HMOs are housing an increasing proportion of vulnerable adults who have limited affordable housing options. Furthermore Local Authorities use considerable resources in the licensing and monitoring of these types of properties, trying to hold landlords to account and minimise the negative impact of poorly run HMOs on local communities.

Understanding more about how HMOs are managed and the impact this has on tenants is important for environmental health and housing professionals who are making decisions about the strategic management of HMOs and assisting people to find appropriate housing.

In our most recent paper in the journal Housing Studies we try to address this knowledge gap using data collected from HMO landlords and managers and their tenants. We describe how the property landlords and managers control tenants through various means but how this also manifests as care and support. We illustrate the complex relationship between care and control and the extent to which both are integral to the housing management of vulnerable tenants living in HMOs.

Further, we think the paper raises interesting questions about what it means to be a ‘good landlord’ that are worthy of discussion, particularly as HMO licensing conditions may go beyond the realm of property management into social control.

The full reference for the journal is:

Green, G., Barratt, C and M. Wiltshire. 2015. Control and care: landlords and the governance of vulnerable tenants in houses in multiple occupation. Housing Studies 0(0), pp. 1–18.

For those fortunate to be attached to Universities who subscribe to Housing Studies our paper can be accessed via:

Others without subscriptions can read the abstract here too and see the references but all, particularly housing practitioners, are welcome to contact me (via: and I can send you a copy of our paper.

We hope you find the paper insightful and welcome questions and comments.

With best wishes, Caroline

Of interest? Funded PhD opportunities at the Open University

The OU is currently offering the following opportunity:

4 full-time funded PhD Studentships commencing February 2016

Faculty of Health & Social Care, Based in Milton Keynes
Approximate annual stipend of £14,057
closing date : 29/10/2015
Achieving good health and wellbeing for all is essential to achieving social justice, and this lies at the heart of the Open University’s mission. Building on existing cross-disciplinary intellectual capacity, an evidenced commitment to social justice and existing local, regional, national and international collaborations and networks, the University is making a further investment in the field of health and wellbeing which includes funding of 4 PhD studentships. Existing research strengths within the University map across a range of disciplines and fields including: sociology of health; public policy and management; critical health psychology; biomedical sciences; health services research; human computer interaction, personal informatics and wearable technologies; health economics; medical statistics; health communication; public health and health promotion; social marketing; mental health; and the medical humanities.

We are keen to attract students to work with us on research that locates the experiences of patients, carers, family members and practitioners at the forefront of inquiries. We place value on participatory and inclusive research particularly with individuals that are marginalised, ‘hard to reach’ or have complex needs. Applications are invited on one or more of the following themes: – age, ageing and later life; children, young people, parenting and families; death, dying and bereavement; disability and long-term conditions or reproductive and sexual health

These are four full-time 3 year studentships which covers all fees, living expenses and fieldwork costs. Please note you will need to be educated to Masters’ level qualification to apply and would be required to live in the UK close to the university campus in Milton Keynes.

For more information go to:

VC Scholarship for PhD Opportunities

A University of Greenwich Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship 2015/16 is available to undertake doctoral research into the health status and needs of Roma migrants in the UK and to develop a validated tool to measure their health and well-being needs. Research will involve a combination of methods (national and local policy analysis and evaluation, literature review, case note review, in-depth interview, focus groups and surveys) to develop a health and well-being profile of the Roma population in London and a survey instrument for monitoring the health and well-being needs of the UK Roma community.

Other scholarships are also being offered.

For more information, go to

Good luck!


Is this really Europe? Some voices from the Calais ‘Jungle’

One of the wonderful (and worrying) things about working in environmental health is (in the words of one of the Johannesburg EHPs in my PhD) ‘you get to see the world as it is, behind the closed doors…’

Lunch with my colleague Surindar last week was largely taken up with her recollections ‘behind the barbed wire fence’ during a field trip to the ‘New Jungle’ of Calais. She is working with colleagues from  the University of  Birmingham on an ESRC funded project to document environmental health conditions within the camp and their initial findings are summarised in the following article published last night in ‘The Conversation’ via:

I think this is exactly the research that EH professionals like us should be engaged in and I can’t wait to receive Surindar’s next update as their data analysis continues.

Some friends recently raised the problems of Calais in conversation but spoke only of its impact on their travel and holiday plans and their fear of being attacked by ‘migrants with crowbars’. When I raised Surindar’s work, recalled some of the conditions she had seen and one of the stories she had been told, I succeeded only in changing the conversation immediately to the ‘safer world’ of summer holiday plans.

This response reminded me why I rarely talk about my own similar past environmental health experiences but also why we EHPs, alongside journalists, fellow health professionals etc, should be doing much more to give voice to the most vulnerable in our societies. All credit therefore to Surindar, Thom and Arshad for doing so.

With best wishes,


HOUSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH Kings Fund Event 21st October 2015: Call for integrated policy or practice examples

The King’s Fund would like to hear about examples of local policy or practice (evaluated or promising) at this event if it is an example of better integration between housing, health and public health and/or social care, and if it fits under one of the categories below:

  • promotion of health and wellbeing, through the workforce and/or community centred approaches
  • helping improve the economic wellbeing of residents as a means to improving health and wellbeing
  • improving conditions and/or suitability of housing in the private sector and its consequences for health
  • focused initiatives improving the lives of vulnerable groups and people experiencing health inequalities
  • activity contributing to Public Health England’s national priorities: alcohol; obesity; dementia; best start in life; tuberculosis.

Oral and poster presentations are welcome.

Oral presentations will be grouped under one of the following life courses:

  • start and develop well
  • live and work well
  • age well.

You will be asked which of these life courses your example is particularly relevant to when you submit your example.

For more information click here.