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Griesbach & Associates - Social Research for Policy and Practice

Health and Health Improvement

Compared to many other countries in Europe, Scotland has traditionally had a poor health record. However, this is starting to change. The Scottish Government has introduced a range of initiatives to encourage people to live healthier lives and to tackle health inequalities. In 2006, legislation was introduced to ban smoking in public places, and the current Scottish Government has brought forward a raft of measures to address Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Griesbach & Associates have expertise and knowledge a wide range of health and social policy areas, particularly those that relate to health (and mental health) improvement. Projects in this area have involved evaluation and needs assessment, as well as primary research. Some recent projects have included:

The development of national needle exchange guidelines for Scotland
(Client: Scottish Government and Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams)
This was an action under Phase II of the Scottish Government’s Hepatitis C Action Plan for Scotland.  Griesbach & Associates assisted Professor Avril Taylor (University of the West of Scotland) and the Guidelines Development Group to develop best-practice guidelines for services that provide injecting equipment to injecting drug users.  This project involved a review of the relevant literature and a consultation with experts in this field. The guidelines were published in May 2010. [ National Guidelines ]

National Needle Exchange Survey in Scotland
(Clients: Scottish Government and the National Treatment Agency in England)
This was the most in-depth study of needle exchange service provision ever undertaken in the Scotland, and was part of a larger UK-wide study of needle exchange services involving England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Scottish arm of the study involved a survey of all 22 Drug Action Teams and all non-pharmacy needle exchange services and focus groups with needle exchange commissioners, needle exchange providers and pharmacists involved in the delivery of pharmacy exchanges. This work was carried out with Dima Abdulrahim and Dawn Gordon at the National Treatment Agency in London, and Karin Dowell at the Scottish Executive.
[ Full report | Summary ]

Other projects in this area:

  • Public health review – analysis of responses to the engagement paper (with J Waterton) — for the Scottish Government
  • A needs assessment of social marketing support required by health improvement practitioners and planners in Scotland — for NHS Health Scotland (with J Gordon (lead researcher) and A Blamey)
  • Analysis of qualitative data to determine public and health professional knowledge and attitudes on folic acid and Vitamin B supplementation — for NHS Health Scotland.
  • Educational interventions to prevent hepatitis C:  A review of the literature and expert opinion — for NHS Health Scotland.
  • Analysis of responses to the consultation on Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland — for the Scottish Government.
  • Redrafting and editing of the hepatitis C action plan for Scotland, phase I:  September 2006 – August 2008.
  • Analysis of responses to the consultation on Scotland’s Hepatitis C Action Plan — for the Scottish Government.
  • Identification of gaps in alcohol service provision in Lochaber — for the Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the Lochaber Drug and Alcohol Forum.
  • Consulting local policy makers, planners and practitioners regarding the provision of services in remote and rural areas of Scotland (facilitation of consultation event) — for the Scottish Executive Effective Interventions Unit.
  • An examination of the associations between school smoking policies and perceptions of smoking in Scottish schools — for the European Commission.
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