Professor Lindsay Forbes MBBS, BSc, MSc (Public Health), MD MRCP(UK), FFPH
Professor of Public Health and NIHR Research Design Service SE Adviser
- 01227 816440
I am a public health scientist with interests in understanding patterns of ill health and health systems to address the needs of the population. I am public health specialty lead for Kent Surrey and Sussex NIHR Clinical Research Network and an adviser for the NIHR Research Design Service South East. I am on the General Medical Council specialist register in public health medicine. Most recently my work has been in two main areas: design and evaluation of primary care services, and systems to build evidence of what works to improve the health of the public. I started off my academic public health career in epidemiology, although over the years I have developed a much broader set of research skills, including complex intervention design and evaluation.
I joined CHSS in January 2016 from King’s College London and Queen Mary, University of London, where I was one of the Principal Investigators of the Department of Health Policy Research Unit on cancer awareness, screening and early diagnosis. Over an eight year period I researched pathways to care in cancer and led the evaluation of a unique health professional-delivered intervention to promote early presentation of breast cancer. I advised the Department of Health on the Be Clear on Cancer Know4Sure and breast cancer awareness campaigns. During 2011-13 I played a major role in a national project to develop an innovative evidence-based approach to information about cancer screening, aiming to offer informed choice. Before 2008, I was consultant in public health medicine in Wandsworth PCT, where I was clinical effectiveness lead and provided public health advice on acute commissioning, alongside a role in St George’s, University of London investigating the epidemiology of chronic disease in relation to air quality.
I trained in academic public health medicine 1995-2002 in London, where I was lucky to have a joint NHS-university post in South London health authorities and King’s College London. Before that I spent several years in acute hospital medicine after qualifying in 1988.
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
The CHSS team carried out an evaluability assessment of a school-based mental health promotion intervention known as the ‘Fantastic Fred Experience’. The intervention was developed as part of the Kent Local Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults’ Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health. Delivered in primary schools, it uses an interactive performance format to demonstrate mental health promoting behaviours across four domains: Food, Rest, Exercise and Digital Devices (‘FRED’). The Fantastic Fred Experience and a provisional logic model was developed in collaboration with professionals from clinical psychology, general practice, educational psychology, commissioning and information and from health, education and university sectors. Implementation began in May 2019 and there are plans to deliver it to half of Kent primary school children between 2019 and 2021, as part of a wider mental health promotion programme (‘Good Mental Health Matters’) for all young people. The evaluability assessment will inform strategic decisions about whether and how to evaluate the intervention, with a view to potential long-term investment and wider dissemination. Start date: 8 May 2019; End Date: 8 August 2019 Funder: West Kent CCG Funding: £11,831
Developing a public health research system to suport local government in Kent
After the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, councils took over responsibilities for public health from the NHS. This included promoting and improving health (e.g. sexual health clinics, health visitors, promoting physical activity, and promoting good health through its other activities such as transport, urban planning and education). Research is recognised to be a key part of NHS activity, with research active NHS organisations having better patient outcomes. There are concerns that councils do not use research evidence and take part in as much research, not seeing it as part of their role, or useful. Councils may not have the research knowledge, experience and culture that is generally embedded in the NHS. There are concerns that councils’ established ways of working do not always give research evidence sufficient prominence in decision-making, which tends to focus on local context and political constraints. This project aims to understand how to develop a system to support councils to use research evidence more effectively and to develop, usually in collaboration with university research departments, good quality applications for funding. We will use Kent County Council and Medway Council as study sites and have secured the collaboration of both Directors of Public Health. We will develop a questionnaire in collaboration with members of the public and the council employees. We will survey council employees to map out how research is used, what research has been carried out, and investigate what they know about research and their attitudes to it. We will then interview council employees and councillors to gain further insights into these issues and explore what they think might work to promote research culture. We will run a workshop bringing together university researchers, council employees, councillors and members of the public to identify the possible structure and function of such a research system and a plan for implementation. The outputs of this would be a design for a research system to enable better use of research evidence and to facilitate more research being carried out in Kent, an estimate of resources needed to make it happen and a framework to guide other councils to do the same with their local universities. We will work with the councils to implement the findings. In the long run we hope that this will enhance the process of council decision-making and improve outcomes for the communities served. Start date: 1/8/20; End Date: 30/11/20 Funder: NIHR Public Health Research Programme (20/30 NIHR Local Authority Research System call) Funding: £48,406