Author: Azeem Majeed

I am Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London. I am also involved in postgraduate education and training in both general practice and public health, and I am the Course Director of the Imperial College Master of Public Health (MPH) programme.

Applying for the 2018-19 Imperial College MPH Programme

Thank you for your interest in the Imperial College MPH programme. The 2018-19 MPH course starts in October 2018. Applications for entry will open in November 2017. We cannot tell you at this stage whether you will be eligible for the MPH because the decision is made by the Admissions Team when they have an opportunity to view your degree results and IELTS score (if relevant). We generally require a First Class or Upper Second Class degree from a good university or an international equivalent, or a medical degree. A good personal statement about why you want to undertake the MPH course is essential. Previous public health experience is also helpful. You should take the opportunity to find out more about public health, for example, from the FPH Website.

We have several international student societies at Imperial to provide students with some peer support away from their home country. Do check out the visa rules before you apply if you intend to stay in the UK after the MPH as these opportunities are now more limited than in the past.

The Imperial College MPH is mainly a quantitative, research-oriented programme. Our MPH students receive rigorous training in epidemiology and statistics. Hence, the programme will suit applicants who are mainly interested in developing their quantitative analytical and research skills. The course offers good grounding in research methods for those considering a PhD in public health or role in health services research related field. The MPH also presents a good opportunity for public health management training as it is provided in collaboration with the Imperial College Business School.

If you decide to apply, then it would be an advantage if you can describe any relevant research experience and/or training in epidemiology, maths, and statistics. We also need to see your CV in addition to the personal statement.

The Imperial MPH is now the largest Masters course at Imperial College and one of the largest MPH courses in the UK, offering an intensive immersion into public health policy and practice. Students that complete the Masters programme continue into positions in international development organisations, government bodies, research and consulting.

We offer two streams for the MPH Programme: MPH (Health Systems Stream) which covers the core skills of public health with a focus on high-income countries; and MPH (Global Health), which covers the essential core public health skills as well as orienting students towards a global health career. In 2017-18, we are also offering optional modules in Health Systems Development, Health Systems Policy and Financing, Contemporary Topics in International Health Policy, Anthropology in Public Health, Research Methods (covering Qualitative Research), Exposure Assessment and eHealth.

You can apply for the course online at https://apply.embark.com/grad/imperial/

The full-time programme is very intensive. Students must attend classes Monday to Friday and they are required to study full-time for 12 months. Students submit a 10,000 word research dissertation in late August and then undergo an oral examination on their project. Much of the teaching in the first term is shared with the MSc in Epidemiology Course, which is also run by the School of Public Health. The third term and summer months are largely dedicated to work on the research project.

You can find further information on the Imperial College MPH Website.

The MPH blog can be viewed at http://www.imperialmph.blogspot.com

Please see the College’s webpage for information on International Students, if applicable.

The fee for the MPH in 2018-19 for UK students and students from the European Union is around £10,000. The fee for students residing elsewhere in the world is around £30,600. You can email tuition.fees@imperial.ac.uk for further information on postgraduate fees.

We do offer some scholarships annually to help cover the course costs. Please let us know if you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships when you make your application. You can also find further information regarding funding opportunities at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/scholarships/

Please see the link at the following website for frequently asked questions about admissions: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/. You may contact the Course Organiser, Dr Henock Taddese in case of any further queries: h.taddese@imperial.ac.uk

Because of the length of time it takes to process visa applications, it can be difficult for overseas students to obtain the necessary documents to start in October if they do not receive their offer by 31 July 2018.

Best wishes for your future and thank you for your interest in Imperial College and in our MPH Programme.

The Imperial College MPH Team

Dr Henock Taddese, Dr Matt Harris, Dr Filippos Filippidis, Professor Azeem Majeed

A warm welcome to the Imperial College Master of Public Health (MPH) class of 2017-18

We had a full house earlier this week for the introductory session for our new Master of Public Health (MPH) students. This year, we have 68 students on our MPH programme. The course provides a comprehensive introduction into key public health topics; such as epidemiology, biostatistics, health promotion, health protection, health behaviour, health policy, and health economics. There is a focus on the development of quantitative analytical skills for public health, epidemiology and health services research. We aim to provide a creative and supportive learning environment, and we hope all our students have a rewarding year.

 

Congratulations to the 2016-17 MPH prize winners

Each year, we award a number of prizes to our Master of Public Health (MPH) students. The award winners in 2016-17 were:

MPH (General Stream) Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Scholarship
Alette Ellms

MPH (Global Stream) Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Scholarship
Maya Malarski

MPH (General Stream) Dissertation Award
Meghan Cupp

MPH (Global Stream) Dissertation Award
Maya Malarski

Wellcome Trust Centre MPH-Global Health Dissertation Award
Micol Tedeschi Samaia

Wellcome Trust Centre MPH Global Health Student Award
Debra Ten Brink

Flu vaccine may reduce the risk of death and hospital admission in people with type 2 diabetes

The flu vaccine may reduce the likelihood of being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research. The study from Imperial College London also found the patients who received the influenza vaccination had a 24 per cent lower death rate in the flu season compared to patients who weren’t vaccinated.

The team, who published their findings in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) studied 123,503 UK adults with type 2 diabetes between 2003 and 2010. Around 65 per cent of these patients received the flu vaccine. We found that, compared to patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the jab had a 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke, 22 per cent reduction in heart failure admissions and 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza. Furthermore, people who were vaccinated had a 24 per cent lower death rate than patients who were not vaccinated.

We also found a 19 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for heart attack among vaccinated type 2 diabetes patients during the flu season, but this finding was not statistically significant.

Dr Eszter Vamos, lead author of the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: “Most flu deaths every year occur in people with pre-existing health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. This study suggests the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions. Not only might it help reduce serious illness such as stroke – and possibly heart attack – in high-risk individuals, but it may also reduce the risk of death in the flu season. Currently more than one-third of people with diabetes do not receive their flu vaccine year-by-year in England. By increasing the number of people receiving influenza vaccine annually, we could further reduce the risk of severe illness not addressed by other measures.

Type 2 diabetes results in a person being unable to control their blood sugar properly and affects around 2.7 million people in UK. People with the condition are at high risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, possibly due to high blood sugar levels damaging blood vessels. Furthermore, flu infection has been found to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with cardiovascular disease, although scientists are unsure why.

In the UK the NHS offers the annual flu vaccine to children and adults with underlying health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, as well as to all over-65s and pregnant women.

Professor Azeem Majeed, co-senior author from the School of Public Health at Imperial added: “There are few studies looking at the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in people with diabetes. Although there have been questions surrounding the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in recent years, this research demonstrates a clear advantage for people with diabetes. The findings of the study illustrate the importance of flu vaccine in reducing the risk of ill-health and death in people with long-term conditions. The flu vaccine is available free to these patients from GPs and pharmacists, and patients with diabetes should ensure they receive the vaccine every year.

In the study, we looked at a representative sample of patients with type 2 diabetes in England. We then tracked these patients over a seven year period, and monitored the number of hospital admissions in this patient group for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, pneumonia, influenza. We also looked at the number of deaths. We then adjusted their figures for demographic and social factors, as well as existing health conditions.

The research was supported by the National Institute of Health Research North West London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Scheme and the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.

Media Coverage
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/25/flu-vaccine-may-help-keep-diabetics-out-hospital.html

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/cmaj-fvr072016.php

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-flu-vaccine-death-diabetes-patients.html

http://healthmedicinet.com/news/flu-vaccine-may-reduce-risk-of-death-for-type-2-diabetes-patients/

http://healthmedicinet.com/i/flu-vaccine-may-reduce-risk-of-death-for-type-2-diabetes-patients/

http://goo.gl/fTQPVI

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-diabetes-flu-shot-idUSKCN1051W7

http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4130

http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/hd/65293

http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-07-26/flu-shot-tied-to-fewer-hospitalizations-deaths-in-type-2-diabetes-patients

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/news/2016/jul/flu-jab-could-reduce-stroke-and-heart-failure-risks-in-type-2-diabetes-94994360.html

https://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/type-ii-diabetes-news-183/flu-vaccine-tied-to-lower-deaths-hospitalizations-in-type-2-diabetes-patients-713085.html

http://www.asianage.com/life-and-style/flu-vaccine-may-help-keep-diabetics-out-hospital-619

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/Flu-vaccine-may-help-keep-diabetics-out-of-the-hospital/articleshow/53397756.cms

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/171345/20160726/flu-vaccine-lowers-heart-failure-and-stroke-related-hospitalization-rates-in-patients-with-type-2-diabetes.htm

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/3b35d484-2da8-43e2-95f6-b31481926376.aspx

How to monitor patient safety in primary care: Healthcare professionals’ views

A study from my research group published in JRSM Open aimed to identify ideas for patient safety monitoring strategies that could be used in primary care. People who took part in the survey offered 188 suggestions for monitoring patient safety in primary care. The content analysis revealed that these could be condensed into 24 different future monitoring strategies with varying levels of support. Most commonly, respondents supported the suggestion that patient safety can only be monitored effectively in primary care with greater levels of staffing or with additional resources. About one-third of all responses were recommendations for strategies which addressed monitoring of the individual in the clinical practice environment (e.g. GP, practice nurse) to improve safety. There was a clear need for more staff and resource to encourage better safety monitoring. Respondents recommended the dissemination of specific information for monitoring patient safety such as distributing the lessons of significant event audits amongst GP practices to enable shared learning.

Dr Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder and CEO of DeepMind, Speaks about AI in Healthcare

OnOn 28 September 2017, I attended the Annual Institute of Global Health Innovation Lecture: Artificial General Intelligence and Healthcare, delivered by Dr Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind. Artificial intelligence is the science of making machines smart argued Dr Hassabis, so how can we make it improve the healthcare sector? Dr Hassabis then went on to describe the work that DeepMind was carrying out in healthcare in areas such as organising information, deep learning to support the reporting of medical images (such as scans and pathology slides), and biomedical science. Dr Hassabis also discussed the challenges of applying techniques such as reinforcement learning in healthcare. He concluded that artificial intelligence has great scope for improving healthcare; for example, by prioritising the tasks that clinicians had to carry out and by providing decision support aids for both patients and doctors.

Why do some children not attend their hospital outpatient appointments?

A  study from my research group published in JRSM Open examined why some children do not attend their hospital outpatient appointments. The study found that the commonest reason for non-attendance is unawareness of the appointment due to incorrect contact details being held by the hospital. Potential strategies for reducing non-attendance at paediatric clinics include developing a confirmation or reminder system and improved communication with parents.

MPH students study tour to international organisations in Geneva

This popular study tour for Imperial MPH students is organised annually in collaboration with WHO Geneva. As part of the tour participants were introduced to the work of Médecins Sans Frontières, The UN High Commission for Refugees, the Red Cross, The UN, and WHO and its regional offices. MPH students have had the opportunity to meet with large numbers of senior colleagues in these key international organisations and learn about the nature of their work. The 3 day study tour was very busy, full of learning experience and fun.

2017 Annual GP Teachers Conference

The Annual Teachers’ Conference took place on Friday 9 June 2017 Celebrating the Student and Teacher Partnership. About 100 delegates joined together to network, offer peer support and learn through conversation, lectures and a series of workshops. A brief overview of the key themes and reflections from the day follows.

A story
Dr Sonia Kumar, Director of Undergraduate Primary Care Education, opened by sharing a story of coming across an old man with a bike puncture while out with her husband. While her husband repaired the puncture they got to know a little of his life; how his wife had died and he now lived in sheltered accommodation with cycling being an important way for him to get out and about. Later that day Sonia was reflecting on how hearing his story had made her feel sad and sorry for his changed circumstances, whereas Dev, Sonia’s husband, had taken away a different impression – a wonderful life where he continued to be cared for, maintaining his independence and a lifelong hobby in the form of his bike. And so with teaching, sometimes the student – teacher agenda and perspective to a situation can be different and recognising this is key to a successful teaching partnership.

A Vision for the Future
Professor Val Wass spoke to the subject “Doctors Without Borders”, drawing on her life experience as a GP, medical school dean, RCGP International lead and recent publication on By choice – not by chance: supporting medical students to careers in general practice for NHS Health Education England. She highlighted four important barriers (Generation Gap, Societal Borders, Specialty Borders and Self-Knowledge) we need to recognise in how we deliver education to support students to flourish in their future.

Reflecting with students
The student prizes showcased a huge amount of creativity with videos, paintings, interviews allowing us all to reflect on how healthcare delivery and our own attitudes shape the patient experience. One sensed a huge injection of energy and inspiration into the room, affirming to the audience members their inner calling of ‘this is why I want to teach’, and lots of reflections for teachers of their own practice – a true teacher-student partnership. This creative animation by a pair of students who got to know a patient over a number of months as she navigated the NHS and her own identity is highly recommended.

WHO Europe Primary Health Care Advisory Group

Professor Salman Rawaf was appointed by WHO Europe as a member of the newly formed Advisory Group on Primary Health Care. The first meeting of all Members was attended by the Regional Director Dr Zsuzanna Jakab and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Health, Dr Alexey Tsoy. Professor Rawaf gave a presentation on integration of public health and primary care services and highlighted the role of Healthy Living Centres in the UK. He also described some possible models for the integration using the experience of countries around the globe. The WHO European Centre for Primary Health is leading the work across the 53 member states of WHO Europe.