North West Behavioural Science Regional Hub

North West Behavioural and Social Science Regional Hub is funded by HEE NW for the public health, healthcare, social care and voluntary sectors.

Following evaluation of the last two years of work with the BSPHN, the NW Behavioural & Social Science regional hub is taking a more targeted approach to developing public health capacity and capability in this sphere of public health practice across the North West.

Bespoke Learning & Development Opportunity.

HEE NW & OHID NW have commissioned BSPHN to provide a bespoke learning and development opportunity for the public health workforce and key stakeholders across the Northwest.

The aim of the offer is to provide an introduction to behavioural and social science methodology and apply that learning to local public health priorities in the region.

Utilising an applied approach, delegates will work together in action learning sets based on their local ICS footprint areas – three special interest groups will be established to allow delegates to apply the learning with the support of subject expert facilitators as well as taking a peer led approach to pull together public health interventions of their choice that are informed by behaviour change methodology.

The development offer is provided by Professor Paul Chadwick, honorary professor at University College London and International behavioural scientist.

BSPHN are taking overall leadership responsibility for this proof-of-concept approach and a project evaluation will be available at the end of the development programme.

All public health teams across the region have been invited to field at least two members of their public health teams and local academia and ICS teams leading on public health have also been invited.

 Course Objectives:

  • Identify the modifiable behavioural influences on key public health outcomes
  • Select behaviours to target for change to achieve public health outcomes
  • Identify and describe the different influences on behaviours using the COM-B model of behaviour
  • Develop interventions to change behaviour using the tools of intervention types and policy options in the Behaviour Change Wheel framework
  • Understand what Behaviour Change Techniques are and how they fit within the Behaviour Change Wheel framework
  • Apply these ideas to develop a behaviour change intervention plan relevant to your area of work

Timeline regarding the Development offer:

  • Public health teams invited to attend Oct – Nov 2022
  • All delegates welcome event led by Dr Paul Chadwick to outline structure of the course, learning objectives and learner requirements  3rd Nov 2022
  • All delegates received modules 1& 2 to be completed prior to attending the action learning sets ( three across the region – Cheshire & Merseyside, Greater Manchester & Lancashire & South Cumbria) All four modules are pre-recorded, including videos, quizzes and task sheets – a minimum of 1 hours learning per module.
  • First guided facilitated action learning set held ( Nov / Dec) one in each ICS area
  • Delegates encouraged to meet in between these sessions and organise their own special interest group meetings.
  • Second guided learning session – one in each ICS footprint area  - Jan 2023
  • Face to face summary workshop to share learning, interventions that have been drafted and to consider next steps March 16th
  • Project evaluation – this is a proof-of-concept approach and outcomes, and recommendations will be shared by BSPHN across the public health community.  March 30th - April – project close

For any further information regarding the development offer above please contact

For any further information regarding behavioural and social science in the Northwest contact Dr Rory McGill

How to join the BSPHN?

Join ‘The North West Behavioural Science Regional Hub’, aiming to connect you to the growing evidence that utilising behavioural sciences in public health practice contributes to improving health outcomes, including the Covid19 response and reducing health inequalities.

The work funded by HEE is a partnership between OHID North West and the North West Population Health and Prevention Network. 

Background & Context

OHID outlined a series of recommendations to integrate behavioural science approaches and practice into public health commissioning and service delivery in order to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.  Improving people’s health: applying behavioural and social sciences 2018

In May 2019 HEE NWPHPN, Champs Collaborative and PHE NW delivered a NW symposium to socialise the strategy across the public health, clinical and voluntary sector and to explore the rationale to expand the work through a professional development approach in partnership with the Behavioural Science & Public Health Network.  Evaluation and feedback indicated that participants would benefit from and use a regional hub to build capacity and capability in behavioural and social science approaches and practice in public health work and services. Funding from non-recurrent innovation funds via HEE NW have been secured to establish the NW behavioural science hub.

Many public health challenges – including preventable diseases, smoking, and mental ill-health – are more often behavioural and sociological than medical in nature. The reason behind this is that they often arise from behaviours that are underpinned by social and structural determinants.

Evidence from behavioural science suggests that simple and easy ways of helping people to change their behaviour are the most effective. Whether it’s encouraging smokers to quit, increasing uptake of the NHS Health Check, making healthier food choices easier, or reducing the number of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions, this evidence can help in understanding and therefore influencing behaviour change that promotes health, prevents disease, and reduces health inequalities. We must reach and be meaningful to people in the lives that they are leading.

See below for information regarding previous NW events here.

Behavioural Science and Public Health Network - Regional Hubs

The BSPHN plans to establish regional behavioural science hubs. We are currently in the process of trialing this within the Midlands and East. This pilot is funded by Health Education England. If successful, we envisage these regional hubs, which feature both face to face learning and networking events along with access to virtual learning and support, will provide the necessary expertise, training and the opportunity to collaborate and share practice across the behavioural science local system. The Midlands and East Hub is accessible to BSPHN members only.

To find out more about regional hubs click here. 

Making sense of behavioural insights: Addressing Coronavirus vaccine hesitancy Webinar - 21st April 2021

On Wednesday the 21st April 2021, the PHPN in collaboration with the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network (BSPHN) and Public Health England (PHE) hosted the Learning Webinar from the North West BSPHN Hub: 'Making sense of behavioural insights: Addressing Coronavirus vaccine hesitancy'.

To access all of the recordings and slides from the day, register for the BSPHN here. To join the BSPHN and receive a years free membership, use the attached guidance here.

Tailored Approaches for Addressing Health Inequalities during COVID-19 Webinar - 23rd September 2020

On Wednesday the 23rd September 2020, the PHPN in collaboration with the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network (BSPHN) and Public Health England (PHE) hosted the Learning Webinar from the North West BSPHN Hub: ‘Tailored Approaches for Addressing Health Inequalities during COVID-19’.

To access the agenda, click here, or to access the recording from the day, click here.

Find out more about the speakers below or access their slides by clicking the titles below.

'Achieving Behaviour Change: A guide for local government and partners':

Dr. Paul Chadwick is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change where he works on the development of interdisciplinary approaches to research and practice in behaviour change. Paul has been at the forefront of developing, evaluating and disseminating evidence-based approaches to obesity and diabetes management in the UK and internationally and works on several large-scale trials of behaviour change interventions funded by the CDC and NIHR. More recently he has been developing methods to integrate systems and behaviour change theory and testing their application to transform complex systems such as those involved in energy and food. He is currently seconded as Joint Head of the PHE Behavioural Insights Team.

'Using behavioural science to develop public health messages for ethnic minority groups':

Atiya Kamal is a Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University. Atiya’s recent work includes the application of behavioural science to develop an antimicrobial stewardship training programme for healthcare professionals in Uganda. As a Health Psychology Exchange volunteer, Atiya has been supporting local authorities to consider the role of behavioural science when developing public health messages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Public health messaging - what evidence is there about what makes public health messaging effective in times of crisis':

Hilary Gardener is the Strategic Learning Disability Liaison Nurse for Primary Health across the 2 CCG’s in Hertfordshire. As part of this role leads on a project called the Purple Star Strategy which supports GP practices across Herts to embed change in their practice for their patients with learning disabilities and accredits the surgeries who achieve the criteria for accreditation with the Purple Star Accreditation. Her role sits within Hertfordshire County Councils Adult Disability Service where she is one of the Senior nurses over the Community Learning Disability Nursing Service.

'Increasing uptake of the flu vaccine - a behavioural science approach':

Dr Grainne Dickerson is a Health Psychologist and works as a Senior Public Health Specialist at Bradford Council. Grainne has worked in Public Health for 16 years in a arrange of areas, and in Bradford has worked on Health Protection and now works on Children’s Public Health. Additionally Grainne is currently providing behavioural science based advice and support to colleagues across Bradford Council who are working hard on COVID-19.


Dr Fiona Fylan is a Health Psychologist who is an independent researcher (Brainbox Research) and a Reader in Sustainable Behaviour at the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Becket. University. Fiona conducts research on a range of health topics, and designs and evaluates interventions to change behaviour. She works with the NHS, Public Health, and local and national governments on projects to help people and places become healthier.



Reimagining Help guide (PDF version)

Learning Disabilities - help with your health (Hertfordshire Council)         

BSPHN case study template                 

Using Evidence Based Behavioural Science Approaches to Inform Coronavirus Support & Management Webinar - 15th June 2020

On Monday the 15th June 2020, the PHPN in collaboration with the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network (BSPHN) and Public Health England (PHE) hosted the 'Learning Webinar from the BSPHN hubs in Yorkshire and Humber and North West: Using Evidence Based Behavioural Science Approaches to Inform Coronavirus Support & Management'. 

To access the agenda, click here.

Find out more about the speakers below or access their slides in the attached documents.

'Advising policy makers on behavioural science and Covid-19 disease prevention':

Dr Angel Chater is a Health Psychologist based at the University of Bedfordshire where she leads the Centre for Health, Wellbeing and Behaviour Change. She is the current Chair of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Division of Health Psychology and lead of the BPS Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce.

'Track and trace apps – what behaviours are required? What evidence is there to support these behaviours?':

Dr Tracy Epton is a lecturer and researcher, at the University of Manchester, specialising in behaviour change & Dr Rachael Thorneloe is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, specialising in behaviour change.

'Public health messaging - what evidence is there about what makes public health messaging effective in times of crisis':

Chris Keyworth is a Research Fellow based at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, The University of Manchester. His core research interests are in health communication, specifically applying evidence-based theory to understanding behaviour change, and the development of effective risk communication strategies & Daniela Ghio is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Salford, Manchester. Before joining Salford, she worked as a Research fellow on various NIHR projects developing and testing digital interventions to support self-management of health conditions.

'Taking an evidence-based approach when there is a lack of evidence':

Professor Maddy Arden is director of the Behavioural Science Consortium, which provides expertise to government and the public sector with work focused on the application of behavioural science to a range of public health and public policy issues. Her research has attracted funding from NIHR, Public Health England, Public Health Wales, Wellcome Trust and other charities, as well as from local government.


BSPHN Case Study Template