Professor Margaret Whitehead holds the W H Duncan Chair of Public Health, and is Head of the Department of Public Health and Policy in the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool.
Margaret is also the Head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Social Determinants of Health. Researchers involved in this programme are studying both the social causes of ill health and the adverse consequences of having a chronic illness, such as reduced income and employment chances, social isolation and stigma. With international collaborators, they are looking at the ways in which health and social welfare systems themselves reduce or exacerbate the adverse consequences of ill health and what can be done to improve the situation. The centre is developing ways of carrying out health inequalities impact assessment of complex interventions and public policies, including evidence synthesis concerning employment policies.
Margaret has worked extensively on social inequalities in health and in health care, in particular the question of what can be done to reduce them. To this end, she has been involved in various national and international efforts, including sitting on the UK Government's Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (the Acheson Inquiry) and membership of a number of WHO taskforces on equity. Currently, she is a member of two EU networks to learn from international experiences on inequalities: one on finding ways to evaluate the impact on inequalities of complex interventions, and one tracing the health inequalities impact of public policies and political context.