Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC)


Our neighbourhoods, work, housing, education, and food impact our health. Together, we call these things ‘health determinants’. They are part of the reason why people in Tower Hamlets have poorer health than elsewhere. The council and its partners can play an important role in addressing these to improve the health of people.  

Our Health Determinants Research Collaborative (HDRC) will make it easier to do and use research about health determinants and inequalities. 

We have become better at using research to understand how changing health determinants can improve health. Our HDRC will take us to the next level. We will be a research active council. We will use research to make decisions. We will evaluate the impact of what we do. We will also support new research. 

Our HDRC will be a powerful collaboration between the council, local universities, and community organisations. We worked with these partners to develop our HDRC.  

In the next five years, we want to: 

  • Make it easier to do research by working better with our partners
  • Have the right data, processes and resources to support research
  • Use research to inform our policies, how we run services and how we make positive changes for local people
  • Have employees and residents who are confident in using, supporting, and doing research
  • Share our learning from setting up our HDRC and doing research with others in Tower Hamlets and elsewhere.

Our HDRC is important to the council. The Chief Executive and the borough’s highest partnership group will oversee it.

The group includes organisations that can change many health determinants. We will work with local experts and set up shared posts in local universities. We will work with a leading local health data group. The community sector will be part of the HDRC. 

Our HDRC will involve local people. We will develop our research priorities together. We will set up new ways to involve residents. We will make sure that research becomes part of our established community forums. This will help us make sure that local people hear about, influence, and take part in research.  

We are organising our activities into five workstreams: 

Workstream 1

Strengthens research support, partnerships, and local people’s involvement in research. We will work with partners to support research. Together we will identify research funding opportunities. We will work with community groups to help us involve local people in deciding what we research. 

Workstream 2

Sets up the support systems needed to make research happen. We willbring data on housing, schools, places and more together with health data. This makes data usable for research. We will support community researchers and help residents to participate in research. We will work with schools, housing associations and other places to do research.  

Workstream 3

Ensures council decisions are informed by research. It will make sure that the council thinks about how what it does impacts the health of people. We willdevelop a research plan to make sure we focus research on the most important things.  

Workstream 4

Ensures our employees are ready to support and do research. We will develop training opportunities with our partners. Employees of the council, academics, and residents can access the training. 

Workstream 5

Shares our learning and helps to influence local, regional and UK policy. It also supports other areas in the country to set up their own HDRC.

You can find out more about Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC).


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