Exploring public health contributions to alcohol licensing in local government: A London-based research study

Pub drinksOverview:

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Safe Sociable London Partnership and Southwark Public Health are conducting a research study to explore the range of influences on public health practitioners’ contributions to alcohol licensing processes in local authorities across London.  As public health has an increasing role to play in shaping local alcohol environments, we are interested in finding out more about how public health practitioners approach alcohol licensing work, to identify how to strengthen public health contributions to licensing processes.  The study is funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research, and the study team includes researchers from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Safe Sociable London Partnership, and Southwark Public Health.

We are already working with several local authorities, but want to include as many London local authorities as possible in the study.

We want to explore a wide range of experiences and approaches undertaken by public health practitioners in relation to alcohol licensing work, and to understand how this fits within the broader structures, relationships and context of each local authority.  We are also exploring the experiences of practitioners who have been using the Public Health Alcohol Licensing Guidance Tool developed by Safe Sociable London Partnership.  Some of you will already have spoken to Joanna Reynolds, from LSHTM, about participating in the study.

 Getting involved:

There are several stages to the study, and which involve different kinds of stakeholders, including public health practitioners, public health alcohol leads, other responsible authorities (licensing, police, trading standards etc), members of licensing committees, and other experts beyond London.

We would like to invite you to consider participating in the study in one or more of the following ways:

  • Brief online questionnaire: for public health practitioners in ALL London Local Authorities to complete. To obtain a detailed overview of licensing work.  April ’17.
  • In depth observation of public health practitioners’ alcohol licensing work: either one or two ‘situated interviews’ to understand how you approach your work, or more regular (eg weekly) sessions to observe licensing work over a period of weeks. March ’17 onwards.
  • Interviews: with public health alcohol leads, stakeholders from other responsible authorities and licensing committee members. April ’17 onwards.
  • Group discussions: with all practitioners interested in alcohol licensing, to explore how to strengthen public health contributions to alcohol licensing. May / June ’17.
  • Collection of licensing data: prospective collection of routinely collected data from public health practitioners on licence applications screened over 6 months. May ’17 onwards.

Anticipated outputs:

We aim to produce outputs from the study that will be of practical value to public health (and other) LA practitioners for their alcohol licensing work.  A first round of workshops is planned for September 2017 to discuss early findings from the study, and to engage practitioners in identifying the most useful formats and outputs to share learning.

Next steps and more information:

We will be contacting you directly to talk more about participating in the study; if you are interested and would like more information about how to get involved, please contact Joanna Reynolds: Joanna.reynolds@lshtm.ac.uk , or  Karen Lock: Karen.lock@lshtm.ac.uk ;

or see the project website http://sphr.lshtm.ac.uk/public-health-alcohol-licensing-tool-evaluation/

If you would like more information on Safe Sociable London Partnership and the guidance and tool they have developed, please contact Ghazaleh Pashmi: ghazaleh.pashmi@safesociable.com or visit www.safesociable.com