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LAUNCH OF GROUNDBREAKING HEALTH STUDY

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A groundbreaking new health study has been launched in Glasgow....
A groundbreaking new health study has been launched in Glasgow.

GoWell - the first study of its kind in Europe - will investigate the impact of the planned£1bn investment in Glasgow's homes and communities' on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families located in some of Glasgow's most deprived communities.

The results are likely to have huge implications for all those working in health and housing both nationally and internationally.

GoWell will involve over 6,000 Glasgow households this year alone and for the next 10 years.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said:

'Improving Scotland's appalling health record is a top priority across the Executive. Poor housing, poverty and deprivation are key factors in determining health.

'The GoWell project will make a huge contribution to our understanding of these complex areas so that we can design and create healthier communities where people want to live.

'By directly involving the people of Glasgow. it will provide critically important information on how Glasgow is changing and transforming and what lessons this offers the rest of Scotland for generations ahead.'

Glasgow people will be asked about their experiences of community regeneration initiatives before, during and after the investments take place. This information will then be used to help measure whether community regeneration has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people involved.

Although the GoWell study is expected to last for 10 years, results will be reported every two years and will be of considerable interest to a wide range of individuals, organisations, practitioners and policy makers across Scotland and internationally.

It is expected the results will be used to help housing, regeneration and health experts plan future neighbourhood renewal and community regeneration initiatives by analysing what has worked and what has not.

The GoWell study is a collaborative partnership between the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the University of Glasgow and the Medical Research Council and brings together a prestigious group of researchers whose work in health and housing is renowned both nationally and internationally.

GoWell is sponsored and funded by Communities Scotland, Glasgow Housing Association, NHS Greater Glasgow, and NHS Health Scotland.

The 12 Glasgow communities which will be taking part in the GoWell project are:

Castlemilk

Carntyne

Gorbals Riverside

Govan

Red Road and surrounding area

Riddrie

Scotstoun

Shawbridge Corridor

Sighthill

St Andrews Drive

Townhead

Riddrie

The GoWell programme will be led by four principle investigators:

Ade Kearns - Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow and leading expert in the field of community regeneration, and neighbourhood renewal.

Commenting on GoWell Professor Kearns said:

'Too many communities in Glasgow experience poor environments, are weakly connected to the rest of the city, and face problems of drugs, alcohol and antisocial behaviour. GoWell will allow us to measure whether public policy together with the private sector can actually bring about the social, environmental and structural changes these communities need.'

Phil Hanlon - Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow and honorary consultant in public health with NHS Greater Glasgow.

Carol Tannahill - Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, and leading expert in public health and health promotion. Commenting on the GoWell programme Dr Tannahill said:

'I am delighted that the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has brought together the organisations and researchers who will make GoWell happen.'

'With GoWell we have an unprecedented opportunity to learn how the processes of housing and neighbourhood renewal can transform the health of communities that at present are amongst the least healthy in Europe.'

Mark Petticrew - Associate Director of the Medical Research Council, Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, and leading expert on evaluating the health impacts of social interventions.

Current investment in Glasgow this year includes:

Over£97 million on affordable housing through Communities Scotland and Glasgow City Council

The GHA and social landlords have spent£160 million on home improvements and£127 million is being spent this year

The Glasgow Community Planning Partnership is spending£40 million from the Scottish Executive's Community Regeneration Fund on community regeneration targeted at the city's most disadvantaged areas.

NHS Glasgow has a revenue resource limit of£1.345 billion.

Michael Lennon, Chief Executive of Glasgow Housing Association commenting on the GoWell study said:

'The information provided by the GoWell study will help ensure that Glasgow tenants reap maximum value and benefit from the£1.3 billion being invested by GHA.'

'Given the massive scale of GHA's investment programme, it is imperative that our policy is based upon solid, independent evidence.'

'It should also help us ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past which all too often replaced Glasgow's slum properties with new slums. We will therefore be encouraging our tenants to participate in and support the GoWell project.'

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