Prevention, early intervention and behaviour change

Our work aims to improve the overall health of our communities, improve patient health outcomes and improve the treatment and recovery of patients – both locally and nationally.

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Poor health can lead to an increased risk of illness or multiple illnesses, disability in later life, and a lower life expectancy. If we can prevent poor health by promoting the conditions for good health at an earlier stage in life, then more people can live better, for longer.

Our work aims to build on the strong foundations we already have in our region to bring about a real step-change in prevention and the improvement of health in our population.

This will include identifying the needs of our local communities, as well as the needs of our local health and care system, and bringing together key partners to develop solutions that will work for our region. By doing so, we aim to improve the overall health of the population (primary prevention), improve patient health outcomes (secondary prevention) and improve the treatment and recovery of patients (tertiary prevention).

The NHS five-year forward view places prevention at the top of the health agenda. It includes a focus on prevention in smoking, mental health and childhood obesity. It also makes a pledge to increase disability-free life expectancy by five years, as well as narrowing the gap between the experiences of the richest and the poorest, by 2035.

Our work will play a key role in achieving the ambitions set out in the NHS five-year forward view.

Our national leadership in Prevention

The 15 ARCs across England work together on a number of national leadership areas, led by specific ARCs.

The ARC for the North East and North Cumbria is the lead for Prevention.

We have also secured an extra £1.87 million of extra funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to lead applied research in the national priority area of Prevention including Behaviour Change and we’ll be working with a number of other ARCs to deliver this programme of work.

Visit the homepage for the NIHR ARCs Consortium for Prevention including Behaviour Change to find out more about this work and the projects we’re delivering as part of it.

Some of our early regional projects include:

  • Making Every Contact Count (MECC) – working with partners from all local authorities and blue light services. The project will deliver key training including around behaviour change
  • Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA) – co-designing an evaluation of this award, which aims to reduce workplace sickness in our region. It will look at physical and mental health outcomes and wider impacts
  • Integrating prevention strategies in pregnancy – working with public health practitioners to develop a regional maternity prevention strategy, supporting behaviour change in pregnancy, postnatal and inter-pregnancy.
  • Pre-surgery rehabilitation intervention – our aim is to develop and evaluate a regional systematic approach to pre-surgical risk reduction.