Knowledge Mobilisation, Public and Community Involvement

Lead: Sally Sheard (University of Liverpool)

Social science research is focussing on the well-being of healthcare workers and the general public; understanding how individuals, communities and health care systems perceive risk; developing effective communication strategies for public and policy understanding of disease transmission and prevention; supporting the development of resilient populations and wider socio-economic systems.

Ongoing projects

Understanding the dynamics of policy development and healthcare worker behaviour in the UK during the COVID-19 public health emergency

In an infectious disease outbreak public health policymakers are under tremendous pressure, especially from the media. They must respond rapidly to and take decisions which impact enormously on healthcare provision.

Prof Sally Sheard and colleagues are studying conventional and social media trends during the COVID-19 epidemic, and are linking these to changes in UK policy, gaining unique insights through collaboration with key policy players. These include members of the Strategic Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that advises the Government, and Public Health England leaders. These experts are recording information on key meetings and events, and giving regular interviews in which their perspectives can be captured in real-time.

Sheard's team also examines the impact of the policy changes on healthcare workers in general practice and hospitals, through interviews and observations. Healthcare workers' perspective on delivering care during the epidemic, and how they perceive the changes in policy is fed back to policymakers during the outbreak. The approach is novel because policy decisions are usually only studied after an event, making the findings less reliable.

This research was piloted with pump-prime funding from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at Liverpool, and has been scaled up with support from the Medical Research Council.

The COVID Hot Potato 4

This week: Healthcare professionals reflect on health system resilience, with those in Scotland talking about how relationship-building within and between community and hospital teams has been important in responding well to COVID-19.

The COVID Hot Potato 3:

The best way to thank NHS workers is to communicate with them: clearly, in time, and on time. Frontline healthcare professionals need clear, appropriate communication, including acknowledgement of uncertainty

Read more at HPRU EZI news here



As COVID-19 comes under control we need to share how local NHS services have adapted to cope with demand to “build back better” services for wave 2. 

Emerging issue: Finding agile ways of sharing and implementing the best COVID-19 health service innovations around the UK.

See details on HPRU EZI news page here

THE COVID HOT POTATO:  Patients with non-COVID illnesses are suffering: healthcare professionals report the hospital capacity exists but we need the strategy now

Emerging issue: Hospitals need a government lead on the lockdown exit strategy to plan the right mix of services as health needs change following the COVID-19 ‘peak’. See HPRU news for more