Supporting research and evaluation


Learning is intended as one of the key tools for ‘Support from the Start’. The following describes how we will be supporting the learning process around ‘Support from the Start’.

We start from the premise that tackling health inequality is not something that is completely understood – there are no off the peg solutions.

However, we will not be ignoring what is already known, and part of the learning process will be disseminating information about what has been shown to work in the rest of Scotland and internationally. The Health & Early Years Learning Network will have a key role to play in this work. This network will be chaired by Ann Hume, East Lothian Council’s Early Years and Childcare Officer, and will promote and organise events and training session for ‘Support form the Start’. The first of these will be on the 16th March, and we are delighted to announce that the Guest Speaker will be Harry Burns, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. More information on this event will be the subject of another post – however you can reserve a place by emailing your contact details to:

To support services and communities that want to undertake evaluation and research in relation to ‘Support from the Start’, we are establishing a Research and Evaluation group which will be chaired by Queen Margaret University. This group will bring together people and organisations with expertise to act as an information and support for ‘Support form the Start’ research and evaluation activity. Anybody that has a research idea connected to the health of children in the early years will be able to submit it to this group and receive feedback on how they might be able to turn into a practical research / evaluation proposal. The group will also be tasked with maintaining an overview of research and evaluation taking place in respect of ‘Support from the Start’, and liaising with national groups and resources for research.  

Another way learning will be supported is through ‘Action Learning Sets’. The Set members will be those individuals that have been identified as champions for ‘Support from the Start’. The Sets will allow the champions to meet on a regular basis and discuss problems and issues associated with tackling health inequality in their service areas.

Finally, this blog aspires to be a place where people can not only learn about East Lothian’s Equally Well Test Site, but also debate issues in relation to tackling inequalities in health.

Happy New Year

Steven Wray