Dr Paul Pilkington

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About me

Dr Paul Pilkington is a Visiting Professor at UWE and Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Wales, where he leads on physical activity. With an interest in healthy, sustainable and active environments, he is a registered Public Health Specialist and was until 2021 an Associate Professor in Public Health in the School of Health and Social Wellbeing at UWE. Paul obtained a BA Hons Geography from the University of Nottingham in 1998 and was awarded an MSc Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2001. He joined UWE in 2003, completing his doctoral studies, exploring the knowledge, attitudes and experiences of casino workers with regards to exposure to second-hand smoke.

As a member of the Mangement Group of UWE's Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing, and Theme Lead for its Healthy and Sustainable Environments research theme, he advanced research across the university in this area, bringing together researchers from public health with those across the university and beyond. Paul was also a key member of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments at UWE.

Paul has undertaken a wide range of research projects with impact in the field of healthy and sustainable environments, with funders including Wellcome Trust, NICE, NIHR, and Public Health England. His innovative knowledge exchange activities include partnerships with Wiltshire County Council, Bristol City Council, and the National Roads Policing Intelligence Forum. He has published widely in international peer reviewed journals and presented at numerous regional, national and international conferences.

Paul is an experienced teacher and module leader, and ​led the development of the new BSc Public Health Degree Apprenticeship programme. In 2011, Paul became the first UWE Public Health Practitioner in Residence, based in the Department of Architecture and ​the Built Environment​. The innovative role involved integrating public health knowledge and skills into the curricula of architecture students, through a design studio based approach. Paul has also been a member of the university's Knowledge Exchange for Sustainability Education (KESE) Group, which seeks to promote engagement in education for sustainable development across the institution.

Paul was one of the first people from a non-medical background to undertake specialist public health training in the UK, and has been a UKPHR registered Public Health Specialist since 2007. He is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. As Specialty Tutor on the South West Public Health Specialty Training Programme, he led the development of specialty training at UWE. He is also an acredited Educational and Academic Supervisor, and has been an assessor on the National Public Health Specialty Training Assessment Centre.

Paul also worked at Transport for London as a Consultant in Public Health, leading on transport and health issues such as road danger reduction, air quality, and promotion of active travel.

Area of expertise

Paul’s research interests centre on how the promotion of healthy and sustainable environments can impact on population health and wellbeing. Paul's particular focus includes how to reduce danger in the road environment, and healthy planning. Past work includes:
  • Tackling the Root Causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development (TRU3D) [UWE Lead] Exploring how prevention of NCDs might be fully considered and factored in to the decision-making of those in control of the quality of our urban environments. Funded by UK Prevention Research Partnership.
  • Getting Research into Practice (GRIP) in Planning and Health [Co-PI] Exploring the barriers and opportunities to applying evidence-based practice in health and planning. Funded by Public Health England.
  • ​The Bristol Twenty Miles Per Hour Limit Evaluation (BRITE) Study ​[PI] Evaluation of the impact of the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in the city of BristolFunded by Bristol CC.​ 
  • Healthy People Healthy Places Evidence Tool ​[PI] ​Development of an evidence-based resource to facilitate joint working between public health and planning professionals. ​Funded by Public Health England.
  • UPSTREAM - Moving Health Upstream in Urban Development Decision Making ​[Research Lead] ​Estimation of the scale of the impact that the built environment has on human health, and exploration with those who control urban development as to how we can minimise health costs. ​Funded by Wellcome Trust.
  • The Nepal Injury Research Centre [UK Lead, Road Danger Reduction] Establishment of the Nepal Injury Research Centre to understand and prevent unintentional injuries. ​Funded by NIHR.​​​
Previous road danger reduction projects as Primary Investigator:​
  • Recording and reporting of mobile phone involvement in road traffic collisions Survey of road traffic collision investigation police officers to determine how the role of mobile phones in road traffic collisions is investigated. In partnership with the National Roads Policing Intelligence Forum.
  • Coroners' Records for Action on Road Safety (CARS Study) Analysis of coroners' records to explore the social context of fatal road traffic collisions among young people. Funded by Wiltshire Public Health.
  • Facilitating local decision making in road safety through a web-based resource A knowledge transfer partnership with Bristol City Council to develop the traffic choices web-based resource. Funded by Bristol CC and Technology Strategy Board.
  • Developing a road danger reduction approach in Bristol A knowledge transfer partnership with Bristol City Council to develop a road danger reduction approach in Bristol. ​Funded by Bristol CC and Technology Strategy Board.
Paul is a reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals and Special Advisor to Cities and Health.​​ He has contributed to debates on road danger reduction in local and national media.


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