The third LARIA North East Networking event was well-attended, with 15 attendees and four presenters. Held at Darlington Town Hall (thanks to Zoe Foster and Darlington Borough Council for providing the venue), we enjoyed a mixture of presentations on information management and networking, and the chance to meet other North East researchers.
We first heard from Dr Christopher Parker at Newcastle City Council on the topic “Preventing homelessness in the context of welfare reform: Newcastle upon Tyne’s Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer”. Newcastle is one of only three national early adopters for the Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer, a public service transformation programme focused on preventing homelessness at an earlier stage by working with a wider group of residents at risk to help them before they reach crisis point.
Next, Andrew Billett (Public Health England) gave a talk on “Measuring health inequalities: investigating a rise in early mortality due to heart disease in Teesside”, and how PHE were able to use public health surveillance techniques to reach conclusions, such as learning that the flattening of the trend in the early mortality rate due to chronic heart disease in Middlesbrough since 2010 was caused by an increase in the number of deaths due to chronic ischaemic heart disease.
Following a tea and coffee break, Warren Hatter from With The Grain and Stuart Cuthbertson from Sunderland City Council presented on “Using behavioural insight in local government: lessons from Sunderland”. They discussed how behavioural insights can help public sector organisations reduce demand, improve outcomes and increase resilience, looking at case examples from increasing benefits applications in Sutton, and encouraging the take-up of stop smoking services in pregnancy in Sunderland.
In the final part of the event, we moved onto networking and the “Three things I’m working on…” forms. These aim to capture information three projects each of us is working on, three issues we think will be important in the future, and three things we are interested in learning more about in future. Everyone took the chance to network and discuss these issues with fellow researchers, and the information on the forms will be used to plan future LARIA North East networking events. Finally, Louise Reeve, the LARIA North East Regional Organiser (me!) presented on “What’s happening with LARIA nationally?” This included feedback from the recent LARIA Awayday to plan the future of the organisation, the option for members to host an ONS Census Economic Forum, and feedback from the recent Public Affairs Committee Annual Conference. There was also some cake!
Thanks to everyone who attended for making it such an amazing event. The next one will be in Spring 2019. Watch this space, and contact me if you have any ideas for what you’d like us to cover: firstname.lastname@example.org.