2009 – 2010 This project focused on establishing a cross border Association of Public Health and Social Medicine with colleagues in Kent and Medway and the Somme in France. The cross border Association shared and compared ways of addressing health threats/ challenges, perceptions, community practices and responses to specific health issues – especially in the prevention of long term illnesses and in areas of social exclusion – in children and adults and will also enhance the professional development of participants.
To establish a cross border Association of Public Health and Social Medicine:
- To improve our mutual understanding of approaches to health, healthcare and the prevention of ill health in the cross border region.
- To exchange ideas and experiences with a focus on health inequalities and social exclusion
- Develop terms of reference for the Association
- Map areas of common practice
- Identify areas of good practice
- Explore innovations in practice using common public health data
- Develop shared practice in enhancing the public health roles of clinical and other professionals, for example, pharmacists
- Explore and compare policies.
2005 – 2007 This project, developed in partnership with Kent Teenage Pregnancy Partnership and the Conseil général de la Somme, was a two year action research project exploring the values and attitudes of groups of teenagers and professionals to sex and relationships, sexual health and teenage pregnancy. This information will be used by young people and professionals to develop new ways of looking at education and health services, with the aim of tackling teenage pregnancy.
Young people in Kent and the Somme took part in focus group meetings to discover these attitudes and a young people’s advisory group participated in the development of the interventions. By involving young people directly in this work, a better understanding of the complex influences on their behaviour was gained so that the resource developed were as relevant and influential as possible.
The projects also involved workshops and focus groups for professionals across Kent and the Somme, to discover professional perceptions of young people’s attitudes and to map out the work currently being undertaken in this area. This information served to highlight any attitudinal mismatch between young people and professionals and indicated where there are gaps in service provision. Professionals also had an opportunity to participate in the development of the interventions through an advisory group.
Key partners were the Health & Europe Centre; the Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) at the University of Kent, Kent Teenage Pregnancy Partnership; Kent County Council, and the respective Primary Care Trusts. Key partners in the Somme were the departments for maternity and child welfare, education, social services and health education.