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CHLS success in bids for high-profile research projects

Professor John Coggon and Professor Keith Syrett

Press release issued: 3 September 2019

The Law School’s Centre for Health, Law, and Society (CHLS) Professors John Coggon and Keith Syrett have been successful in securing major UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) bids. Professor Coggon will be working on TRU3D (Tackling Root Causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development), and Professor Syrett will be part of SPECTRUM (Shaping Public Health Policies To Reduce Inequalities and Harm), highlighting the Centre's strengths in both public health ethics and public health law.

The University of Bristol, in partnership with the Universities of Bath, West of England, Manchester, Reading and Cardiff and Bristol City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, has been awarded £6.6 million by the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) to tackle unhealthy urban planning and development linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, obesity, poor mental health, cancer and diabetes.

The funding is part of a £25 million UKPRP investment awarded to eight projects, including SPECTRUM and TRU3D, that aim to address the bigger picture factors behind the prevention of NCDs which make up the vast majority of illnesses in the UK and account for an estimated 89 per cent of all deaths.

Professor John Coggon will be working on the consortium TRU3D, as will the Law School's Professor of Law Paddy Ireland. Led by Professor Matthew Hickman (Professor in Public Health and Epidemiology in Bristol Medical School), the project has been awarded £6.6 million funding over five years, and will launch 1 October 2019. The programme will research urban planning and development systems with a view to embedding the prevention of risk factors associated with NCDs and health inequalities in decision-making on planning. 

Professor of Health Law and Policy Keith Syrett is co-investigator on SPECTRUMThe new consortium, led by Professor Linda Bauld (Edinburgh University), has been awarded £5.9 million funding over five years and will launch on 1 September 2019. The programme will be investigating the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, (i.e. the approaches used by commercial producers of tobacco, alcohol and food to promote products, influence policy and people's choices, which in turn impacts on our health as a population).

"The TRU3D project offers significant opportunities, through highly collaborative research, better to understand and address how urban environments impact our health. I'm excited that as part of this we will see how law and governance are key determinants of health, and crucial to achieving a healthier, fairer society.

I'm also delighted that to explore these questions we'll be appointing a new researcher and a PhD student to work on the project from within the Centre for Health, Law, and Society." - Professor John Coggon 

 “There is growing interest in the impact of the commercial determinants of ill health upon populations and the ways in which these reinforce existing inequalities. But addressing these is never easy, because of the powerful business interests at play. The SPECTRUM project represents an important step in meeting this difficult challenge, and I am delighted that the role of law and regulation has been recognised as a vital part of the enterprise.” - Professor Keith Syrett

Find out more about SPECTRUM.

Find out more about TRU3D.

Further information

Professor John Coggon is Chair in Law at the University of Bristol and outgoing Co-Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Society. His primary areas of expertise are in Health Law and Policy, with particular points of focus in Public and Global Health, and Mental Capacity Law. His research is rooted in legal, moral, and political theory, and aims to bring insights from these to policy and practice.

Professor Keith Syrett is Professor of Health Law and Policy at the University of Bristol Law School. His research lies at the interface of law, political science and regulatory studies. Keith is globally recognised for his work on the rationing of healthcare resources and the law. He has written widely both on judical intervention in allocation decision making and on health technology assessment as an activity of the modern state.

The Centre for Health, Law, and Society (CHLS) promotes cross-disciplinary and cross-sector perspectives on the impacts of law and governance on physical, mental and social wellbeing. Based within the University of Bristol Law School, the CHLS comprises leading scholars whose work focuses on wide-ranging practical areas from within and far beyond health care systems, including clinical medicine, reproductive care, mental health, social care, and public and global health.

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