HART is undertaking a research project on Health Trainers (HTs), funded by the University’s Research Infrastructure Fund. The research commenced in 2014, with an interdisciplinary team comprising: Mr Geoff Middleton (project coordinator), Ms. Rachel Williams (PhD student), Prof Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson (PI), Dr Lee Crust, Mrs Donna Windard, Mrs. Hannah Henderson, Dr Adam Coussens, and Dr Ros Kane (School of Health & Social Care).
Health Trainers constitute an emergent occupational group in the Public Health system in England, with the key purpose to reduce health inequalities by helping or ‘nudging’ people in local communities to adopt healthier lifestyles. The purpose of the research project was to investigate the occupational role of HTs. Results indicate that HTs suffer from somewhat of an occupational identity crisis and experience role-blurring/contestation with other health professionals. Many reported feeling alienated and undervalued as a workforce, despite the role becoming increasingly challenging, involving handling complex needs of clients.
The findings are published in an article led by Ms Rachel Williams in the Universal Journal of Public Health, which can be accessed here. Mr Geoff Middleton is due to present findings at the Public Health England Annual Conference 2016, to be held at Warwick University.