UCL Grand Challenges


Raising the profile of excluded populations

Working together to launch the UCL Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health.

Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health launch

23 January 2020


Grant: Grand Challenges Special Initiatives
Year awarded: 2020-19
Amount awarded: £2,500


  • Chantal Edge, Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Niccola Hutchinson-Pascal, UCL Centre for Co-Production in Health Research

Using a co-production approach, a one-day event was held in London to launch the new UCL Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health. Representatives were invited from academic, policy, service and voluntary sector organisations involved in the experience of exclusion (experts by experience). The launch event involved inclusive, participatory and consensus-building activities, with facilitated workshops on preventing exclusion, improving services for excluded groups, and escaping exclusion. The project team recorded participants’ views as observations, suggested solutions and professional artists captured ‘frustrations’ and ‘hopes’ for the future by drawing a visual representation called a 'Dream Board'. A rapid thematic analysis of discussions on the day was captured and triangulated these sources of information to develop research and advocacy priorities. Approximately 100 people attended the event, with over 20 people with experience of exclusion.

Despite challenges in finding a common language, co-production effectively developed an Inclusion Health research agenda aligned with the perceived needs of excluded groups and those who work with them. Emerging research priorities for inclusion health include:

  1. Tackling the upstream causes of exclusion - political determinants, poverty and traumatic childhoods;
  2. Addressing public and professional ignorance, indifference and stigma by creating inclusion-focus and public messages;
  3. Making services more accessible and integrated through infrastructure, e.g. national registries of services;
  4. Putting excluded groups at the heart of health research, service development and decision-making through the development of training for recruitment and co-design;
  5. Creating better routes out of exclusion.

The project team are now undertaking further in-depth qualitative analysis on the workshop materials produced during the event and will hold follow up exercises to develop these priorities into actionable projects.

Working with the Centre for Co-Production in Health Research helped ensure that the work and engagement undertaken by the Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health truly conforms to the principles of co-production and it has formed a new working relationship between the two partners which has been sustained since the launch event. As a result of the project, the team have also had an abstract accepted for presentation at the Lancet Public Health Science Conference.