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18 August 2023

King's students work with London council to evaluate health programmes

Global Health & Social Medicine BSc students applied their health research skills through a paid consultancy with the Lambeth Council.

GHSM undergraduate students completed a paid consultancy with Lambeth council_Summer 2023

Undergraduate students in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine worked with Lambeth Council in South London to evaluate their flagship programmes aimed at providing neighbourhood-level health services to local communities.

The six third-year students – Hodo Ahmed, Lily Mahdavi, Leila Benmati, Lucy Budd, Mariama Jallow and Miriam Okotie Tomas – worked in pairs to evaluate three council programmes: Health and Wellbeing Bus, Project Smith Community Connector and Health and Wellbeing Hubs. The three programmes aim to tackle health inequalities through grassroots-level interventions.

The students worked with the council’s Public Health Team to develop evaluation plans to assess how well the initiatives had performed against their objectives and how the programmes could be improved going forward.

I evaluated the Health and Wellbeing Bus programme. It showed me the importance of communication and giving space to all members of staff and stakeholders to give feedback and ideas. My BSc helped me because it gave me the tools to be in a scientific space and to think more deeply about the roots of issues I see in front of me.

Lily Mahdavi, Global Health & Social Medicine BSc

The students conducted surveys, interviews and focus group discussions with council staff and members of the local community. They then analysed the collected data and presented a final evaluation report.

This project was an incredible learning opportunity for me. I saw a broader and more practical picture of how local governments are involved in shaping our health and how bureaucracy limits or enables an intervention. Most importantly, I saw clearly how social elements, like income status, dictate health outcomes.

Mariama Jallow, Global Health & Social Medicine BSc

The consultancy was the outcome of a collaboration between the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine and the Public Health Team at the Lambeth Council. Students were selected for the programme through a competitive process.

The project offered our students not only the unique opportunity to apply their health research and analysis skills in practice, but it also allowed them to gain further insights into how theoretical concepts they discussed as part of their BSc – such as 'social determinants of disease' – are operationalised in the concrete context of public health projects in London. I look forward to working with the Council to create similar opportunities for our students in the future.

Dr Nele Jensen, Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine

The consultancy programme was officially launched on 28 April at the Lambeth Civic Centre where the students were welcomed by Ruth Hutt, Director of Public Health at Lambeth and Chris D’Souza, Lead Commissioner.

In this story

Nele Jensen

Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine