PHIRST Insight

PHIRST Insight builds on the highly productive 10-year collaboration between Cardiff and Bristol Universities as the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) funded DECIPHer Centre (Development and Evaluation of Complex Intervention for Public Health Improvement). Bristol has an international reputation for excellence in applied Public Health Research. In Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (2022), Public Health in Bristol is ranked 5th in the UK, 6th in Europe and 9th globally.

Our Centre for Public Health (CPH), led by Prof Rona Campbell, is one of the leading centres within Population Health Sciences (PHS), one of the two departments that make up Bristol Medical School. At Cardiff University, the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement continues in the School of Social Sciences, directed by Simon Murphy, who will lead the PHIRST team in Wales. It includes investigators from the Centre for Trials Research (School of Medicine) and Public Health Wales (PHW). It has an international reputation for developing and evaluating complex interventions and supporting innovative transdisciplinary networks with policy, practice and the public that have diffused across the UK and Europe, and is housed within the world’s first Social Science Research Park (SPARK)

Our advisory and management board members include local authority Directors of Public Health, Public members, and independent public health academics.

Our current studies include:

  1. An evaluation of Universal Free School Meals in Secondary Schools in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham which aims to determine the impact of the universal free school meals pilot on students and their families and is feasible, and a good use of resources to address student hunger.
  2. An evaluation of ‘Mindset Teams’, an intervention which aims to support the development of a growth mindset culture in Scottish primary schools in order to improve learning resilience for health and education outcomes.
  3. An evaluation of the Scottish Borders/Food Train Eat Well Age Well implementation of the Patient Association Nutrition Checklist to assess the impact of the Checklist on older adults, service providers and implementers.
  4. An evaluation of the Leicestershire Community Kitchen scheme to understand not only what the health and wellbeing impacts of participating in Community Kitchens are for participants but also how these are achieved.
  5. An evaluation of the Haringey Community Protect study which aims to understand how the programme is implemented and how involvement in the Community Protect activities may impact on mental health (including service access/use) and social connectedness for those in each of the seven priority groups.
  6. An evaluation on Oxfordshire Active Travel intervention which aims to understand how new cycling and walking infrastructure and community activation projects might support modal shift to active travel amongst commuters and older adults making within-town journeys in Witney and Bicester.
  7. An evaluation of the Southwark NHS Digital Health Check service, to understand whether offering a digital health check is effective at engaging those groups that have not been reached by the standard health check.
  8. An evaluation of the The Falls Management Exercise (FaME) Programme in Lincolnshire, to understand whether it helps prevents falls amongst older adults and is being effectively implemented in the County.


For any enquiries please contact Tricia Jessiman,