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NIHR PHIRST Seminars - NIHR Public Health Interventions Research Studies Teams (PHIRST)


Seminars are a chance for PHIRST to share details of our evaluations and take a deep dive into a relevant topic. We are always happy to hear suggestions for future seminars, please email our communications manager: Ann.Fitchett@newcastle.ac.uk.

Scroll down for recordings of previous seminars or watch them on our PHIRST Seminar playlist along with other PHIRST video content on our NIHR PHIRST You Tube channel.

Seminar 4 - Doing public health differently: Taking positives from the pandemic.

Recorded on 5 December 2023, the session was hosted by PHIRST South Bank and chaired by Professor Susie Sykes. Slides from the presentations are available to view here.

The PHIRST initiative was commissioned in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and many of the early evaluation projects looked at schemes related to these changes. The first part of the seminar described evaluations of services that had moved to or started to include a virtual method of service delivery during pandemic restrictions. First, Duncan Gillespie from PHIRST Fusion described the North Yorkshire Living Well Smokefree Service (09:24 - 23:45). This was followed by Adam Wagner and Nigel Lloyd from PHIRST Connect discussing the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Support Service (DASE study) and the Welsh National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) evaluations (26:30 - 44:26).

In the second section Daniel Frings from PHIRST South Bank presented the evaluation of the Essex Coronavirus community action site. This was an innovative collaboration between the Public Health team at Essex County Council and local social media influencers to use Facebook to deliver up to date public health messaging (1:03:52 - 1:21:36).

Finally, Professor Jane Wills from PHIRST South Bank chaired a discussion with Mary-Ann McKibben from Public Health Wales and Jane Hemuka from Sandwell Council. Mary-Ann and Jane gave their reflections on working with PHIRST on the Welsh National Exercise Referral Scheme and West Midlands COVID Community Champions evaluations, respectively (1:23:50 - 1:36:16).

Seminar 3 - Public Partnerships.

Recorded on 25 April 2023 the session was hosted by PHIRST Connect and co-chaired by Professor Julia Jones and Amander Wellings. The seminar presented different ways that members of the public have been involved in PHIRST evaluations and the value their contributions have added in these. The first presentation was given by Amander Wellings the Public Co-Applicant for PHIRST Connect looking at the UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research which Amander helped to co-author (03:42 - 13:32). Next was a recorded conversation between Dr Thomas Mills from PHIRST South Bank and James Grimes the Head of Education for the organisation, Gambling with Lives. They discussed the impact of lived experience in public health and practice using the example of a PHIRST evaluation of communities addressing gambling related harms in Greater Manchester (14:14 - 28:46).

Next, Judi Kidger from PHIRST Insight explained how they has involved school children as co-researchers on their PHIRST evaluation of universal school meals in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (30:10 - 44:27). The final presentation was a structured discussion between Amander Wellings, Public Co-Applicant for PHIRST Connect and Sian Harding a member of the Connect Public Involvement in Research Group (PIRG). This focussed on how PHIRST Connect apply the UK Standards for Public Involvement in Research in practice. In particular, gaining insight from Sian as a relative new comer to public involvement and hearing her experiences (46:29 - 1:01:40).

Seminar 2 - Capacity Building in collaboration with local authorities and partners.

Recorded on 3 November 2022 the session was hosted by PHIRST Insight and chaired by Professor Rona Campbell. It discussed different ways to build research capacity in the organisations that PHIRST works with. Dr Jo Williams a Public Health Consultant at Bristol City Council and Senior Lecturer at Bristol University set the scene of public health within local governments and how the landscape may impact on PHIRST evaluations (07:29 - 20:19). Dr Peter Van Der Graaf from PHIRST Fusion then introduced the 'Embedded researcher' model used in evaluations and introduced Jenny Gillespie a Senior Health Promotion Officer with NHS Tayside who reflected on her role as an embedded researcher in the Healthy Weight Tayside evaluation (20:55 - 37:03).

Next, Tricia Jessiman from PHIRST Insight describes her experience of working with the Clinical Research Network on the Oxfordshire Active Travel evaluation. Tricia introduced Chris Hille from the Thames Valley and South Midlands Clinical Research Network and Priyanka Vasantavada from Oxfordshire County Council who gave their perspectives of working on the project (37:33 - 49:56).

Dr Katie Newby from PHIRST Connect talking increasing research capacity by training partner. She presented the example of training service coordinators from the Welsh National Exercise Referral Scheme in qualitative methodology (51:07 - 1:01:48). Dr Thomas Mills from PHIRST South Bank then described his use of co-inquiry on an evaluation of a smoking cessation service in the Bedfordshire area as a way to involve a wider network of public health practitioners (1:02:02 - 1:11:52).

Seminar 1 - Knowledge mobilisation and approaches to dissemination and impact.

Recorded on 30 June 2022 the session was hosted by PHIRST Fusion and chaired by Professor Ashley Adamson. Professor Jane Wills from PHIRST South Bank gave an overview of knowledge mobilisation and impact (07:47 - 13:13). She then introduced Neave Beard the Strengthening Communities Lead at Essex County Council. Neave shared her experience of working with PHIRST on the evaluation of a social media community page used to spread accurate public health information during the Covid pandemic (13:13 - 21:58).

Dr Andrew Passey from PHIRST Fusion then introduced the role of embedded practitioners in PHIRST evaluations. Andy Whitehead from South Gloucestershire County Council then reflected how this had facilitated the evaluation of emergency travel schemes introduced during the Covid pandemic (21:58 - 35:36).

Professor Katherine Brown and Amander Wellings, respectively, Lead for, and Public Co-Applicant for PHIRST Connect presented examples of Patient and Public Engagement and Involvement (PPIE), Co-production and Creative approaches linked to their evaluation of remote service delivery in the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Service. Please note this section contains excerpts from public engagement activities conducted in the course of the research, and contains language which may offend some readers or viewers. The PHIRST scheme has a strong emphasis on co-production and inclusion of the public voice. As such, retaining the language used by research participants and/or members of the public is considered important (46:38 - 01:05:18).

In the final section of the seminar Tricia Jessiman from PHIRST Insight gave a presentation on developing impact related to an evaluation of universal free school meals in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (01:05:18 - 01:14:31).

Watch more content on our PHIRST YouTube Channel or browse our full list of evaluations

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