NIHR PHR Local Authority Research System (LARS)

Aim: To explore the potential for, and what would be needed to develop, a LARS model for Bradford

This scoping project will explore the potential for, and what would be needed to develop, a local authority research system (LARS) model for Bradford District.  Much of the burden of chronic conditions and widening inequalities in health and wellbeing is determined by social, environmental and economic factors. Local government can play a key role in improving these wider determinants of health and wellbeing, by influencing areas such as education, housing, transport and air quality, but needs to be involved in generating research evidence, as well as choosing and using it. To do this it needs to create a culture of evidence and the research infrastructure to support evidence-informed decision making. Bradford Metropolitan District Council (BMDC) would be a good test-bed for exploring the development of a LARS. It is a forward thinking local authority which has actively engaged with local health research projects and is very receptive to using and generating prevention and population health research to support ambitious whole systems change for the city.

What have we done so far?

We have done the following things to understand how research is currently used:

  • A review of the published literature to find out what types of research systems exist
  • Interviews and focus groups with staff and senior leaders at Bradford Council
  • An online survey for staff at Bradford Council
  • Gathered information from organisations that support the use of health and care research to improve outcomes for people

What will happen next?

We are writing a report of our findings from the work we have done. In this will be a proposal of the type of LARS we think is best suited to Bradford, what would be needed to establish this and the steps we would  take to develop it.

For further information please contact Dr Kayley Ciesla: Kayley.Ciesla@bthft.nhs.uk