Lancaster University

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Major Research Funded by Dept of Health

10/29/2001 14:45:32

The Department of Health has announced £250,000 worth of funding for research into the health and social consequences of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in Cumbria. The research will be carried out by Dr Maggie Mort and Professor Tony Gatrell from the University's Institute for Health Research in collaboration with Dr Peter Tiplady of North Cumbria Health Authority.

The aim of the research is to recruit a panel of fifty local people who will become the Standing Panel on Foot and Mouth Disease in Cumbria. They will be active participants in the process of rural regeneration in the aftermath of the outbreak. The panel will use its own members' experience to generate knowledge of the impact of Foot and Mouth on health and also help to devise policies that will alleviate potential consequences.

The panel will be recruited to include a broad range of people including farmers and their families, workers in related agricultural occupations, those in small businesses including tourism, hotel trades and rural business, health professional, veterinary practitioners, voluntary organisations and residences living near the disposal sites.

The research will generate knowledge from regular diaries kept by panel members and also conduct interviews and focus groups. The research will last for two years and there will be regular feedback during the project to practitioners and policymakers.

Dr Maggie Mort said: "The Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001has had widespread and complex effects on the health and wellbeing of rural communities.

"This research places those affected at the centre of decisions about what the existing and ongoing effects are and also how these consequences should be addressed.

"The project is designed to inform the development of policy, both in Cumbria and in the country as a whole."