Posted on 8 September 2003
The Yorkshire region has some of the most difficult health challenges to tackle in the UK, and the successful bid comes as the University, together with the University of Hull, launches the Hull York Medical School (HYMS). HYMS will serve 1.4 million people, the largest population in England not currently covered by an undergraduate medical school.
The Observatories are being established in each of the NHS regions to provide a clearer picture of health and health inequalitites. Many health agencies need facts and figures on health and disease in the population, but these are not always available, or may be unreliable.
The University of York, together with the Strategic Health Authority for North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, will play host to the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory (YHPHO). The Observatory will be housed in the new Alcuin Research Centre at the University, next to the new Hull York Medical School. Its main tasks will be to
Professor Trevor Sheldon, Head of the University's Department of Health Sciences, and Ian Watt, Professor of Primary and Community Care, led York's bid to establish the Observatory at the University.
Professor Sheldon said: "We had a strong case for the Observatory because of York's large concentration of applied health and social researchers, strong environmental research, and the public health orientation of the new Hull York Medical School.
"We also had the full support of the local NHS, and good infrastructure resources. York is keen to strengthen a positive and collaborative approach with other Yorkshire universities, the NHS and other sectors with an interest in the wider public health.
"The news is particularly encouraging in the light of our new Masters programme in Population Health which is aimed at people in health care bodies, local authorities, and voluntary organisations, whose work has the potential to influence the health of local populations."
Professor Bill Gillespie, Dean of the newly-established Hull York Medical School (HYMS), added: "We anticipate a great deal of benefit in being able to work alongside each other. HYMS and the Observatory together signal great strength of health-related research in the region."
Paul Johnstone, Regional Director for Public Health in Yorkshire and the Humber said: "This is an important resource for the region, which has some of the greatest public health challenges in the country. The emphasis of the new observatory will be to support local action in partnership locally and with regional organisations and universities. I am really pleased that efforts behind the scenes by Government Office and with public health colleagues across the region, are paying off with this important announcement."