Increasing workload, a reduced percentage of the budget and workforce retention and recruitment problems challenge the capacity of available general practitioners in the UK NHS. Consequently, patients’ ability to obtain general practitioner appointments has declined. Political pressure to improve access has been accompanied by promises of increased general practitioner numbers, but with a reported fall in 2016–2017,5 it remains unclear how this will be achieved. Meanwhile, financial constraints have also led to the loss of some community-based health services, such as district nursing and fragmentation of others.
In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, we examined whether the systematic deployment of community health workers in the NHS could help address current problems of fragmentation and inefficiency, while improving clinical outcomes through improved uptake of appropriate services.
Conservative modelling suggested that 110,585 community health workers would be needed to cover the general practice registered population in England, costing £2.22bn annually. Assuming community health workers could engage with and successfully refer 20% of eligible unscreened or unimmunised individuals, an additional 753,592 cervical cancer screenings, 365,166 breast cancer screenings and 482,924 bowel cancer screenings could be expected within respective review periods. A total of 16,398 additional children annually could receive their MMR1 at 12 months and 24,716 their MMR2 at five years of age. Community health workerss would also provide home-based health promotion and lifestyle support to patients with chronic disease.
We concluded that the integration of community health workers at scale in NHS primary care could represent a timely and relatively rapidly implemented approach to the workload crisis. Chronic disease management, cancer screening and MMR immunisation uptake provide examples of potential benefits; there is a need for formal piloting to establish the impact of community health workers in NHS primary care.
On Thursday 20 September 2018, our MPH students will be presenting their research projects. This will be the last assessment for the 2017-18 course. We have a wide-range of presentations on very topical issues in global health and health policy. The topic of the projects may help prospective students as they can see the kind of dissertations that our students complete.
- Systematic review on the association between Chronic Hepatitis B infection and Malaria; and report on Hepatitis B control strategy in The Gambia
- Perceptions of need among parents of children with a developmental delay from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and their experiences of accessing support services
- A systematic review of risk factors of knife carrying, usage, and stabbing among young people in United Kingdom.
- Perceived context and its role in quality improvement initiatives
- The Quality of Diabetes and Hypertension Care among Palestine Refugees in the Middle East: A Cross-sectional Analysis
- Associations between air pollution and birthweight in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study
- A systematic review of community- based interventions for improving health and wellbeing in refugee children and adolescents after resettlement in high income
- What is the evidence for the effectiveness of lung cancer awareness schemes in the UK?
- Alcohol intake and risk of coronary artery disease: a Mendelian randomisation study
- An investigation into experience-based food insecurity indicators: how consistently it captures food hardships and its correlation with objective food insecurity measures across four low- and middle- income countries
- Identifying barriers to accessing healthcare in Manicaland, Zimbabwe
- Patient data sharing for immigration enforcement purposes: perceptions among Healthcare Providers (HCPs) of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NHS Digital and the Home Office
- Exploring the familial, peer, media and environmental influences that affect adolescents’ health behaviours in the United Kingdom: A qualitative evidence synthesis
- Household food insecurity and adolescent non-communicable disease risk behaviours: new evidence from low- and middle-income countries
- Blood pressure, hypertension and the risk of sudden cardiac death: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
- “What matters to me?” An evaluation of a quality improvement intervention in paediatric services at Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust
- Trends in antimalarial drug resistance mutations in Africa
- Parental employment and child health outcomes
- Suicide Watch 2.0: A systematic review of machine learning algorithms to detect suicide risk on social media
- Rollout and organisational readiness: The spread of a heart failure care bundle across Northwest London
- A Case Study of Caregiver-friendly Workplace Policy (CFWP) in Hong Kong
- Determinants of Cognitive Decline and Markers of Aging in Working-Aged Adults: Results from the UK AIRWAVE Cohort
- Blood Pressure or Hypertension and The Incidence of Aortic Dissection: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Study
- Investigating changes in malaria parasite species composition as a country approaches elimination: A retrospective study of the Global Malaria Eradication Programme
- Affordability of Tobacco Products in 79 Countries in 2016
- The role of geographic bias in knowledge diffusion
- Patient feedback for quality improvement: an evaluation of the use of Friends and Family data at a large NHS Trust in London
- A longitudinal analysis of tobacco industry pricing strategies in 23 European Union countries from 2006 to 2017
- Have inequalities in cardiovascular outcomes changed with the reductions in public sector spending: an interrupted time series analysis
- Children as Frequent Attenders in Primary Care: A Systematic Review
- Pilot Study- Patterns of Population Movement in Onchocerciasis foci in Ghana: Parameterising Meta-Population Models for Disease Elimination
- Male involvement in Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child Health: Evaluating gaps between policy and practice in Uganda
- Prevalence of and factors associated with repeat adolescent childbearing in Ethiopia: A secondary data analysis of the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey
- Characterising prescribing trends of dependence forming medicines in the management of chronic pain and anxiety; a secondary analysis of national primary care prescribing patterns
- How cost-effective is dolutegravir? A systematic review of price, clinical and economic evidence in HIV-1 infected treatment-naïve, treatment-experienced and switch patients
- Effects of exposure to both tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements on perceptions and use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes: an analysis of the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey
- Risk factors associated with antibiotic resistance in inpatients with Escherichia coli infections.
- A meta-analysis of how exposure to land uses affects risk of infectious disease in a sample of Sub-Saharan African countries
- Predictors of non-adherence to long-term antiretroviral therapy in people living with HIV in Brazil
- Trends in Experimentation of Tobacco Products among Adolescents in USA
- Integration of sexual and reproductive health services in primary care. A systematic review on the uptake of chlamydia screening in the WHO European region
- A systematic review of the safety and otoprotective efficacy of sodium thiosulphate on aminoglycoside-/cisplatin-induced ototoxicity
- Exploring the needs for support among parents of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities through the peri-diagnostic period
- Pharmaceutical innovation and global health: measuring inequality in pharmaceutical innovation for infectious diseases and assessing the impact of World Bank income classification on market launch and inequality in market launch
- Blood pressure, hypertension and the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms – a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
- From policy to monitoring: evaluating the tool for monitoring impact, performance, and capacity of primary health care in high-performing countries in the WHO European Region
- Vaccine-preventable diseases among migrant populations in Europe: a systematic analysis
- HIV Prevalence and ART Uptake in Children in East Zimbabwe
- Costs and cost-effectiveness of multiple HIV counselling and testing modalities: Evidence from a prospective cohort study in Southern Mozambique
- Predictors of Skilled Birth Attendants in Ethiopia
- A systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence and impact of occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) on advanced liver disease
- Prevalence and determinants of cigarette smoking relapse among US adult smokers – a longitudinal study.
- Exploring the use and application of sustainability methods in healthcare practice: a systematic scoping review
- Factors associated with use of short-acting and long-acting reversible contraceptives in Ethiopia
- Evaluation of Country Cooperation Strategies in three countries of WHO regions for Health System Strengthening
- Characteristics of patients initiating second medical opinions, and impact on management and satisfaction: a systematic review
- Anthropogenic land use and infectious disease risks in South America: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence
- The Impact of Grenfell on Health Service Provision and Community Health; a Literature Review and Data Analysis
- The effective use of the Country Cooperation Strategy as a tool to assess health improvements in Uruguay, Argentina and Honduras
- Time series analysis of WHO/UNICEF Estimates of National Immunization Coverage (WUENIC) data of Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Acute Effects of Polyphenols on Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Understanding the Drivers of Paternal Involvement: Interviews with Ugandan Fathers Positively Involved in Maternal and New-born Health
- Comparison of safety of TDF and TAF based drugs in two HIV study cohorts of patients with HIV-1 infection
- Biological, behavioural and socio-demographic correlates with heterosexual anal intercourse in Manicaland, Zimbabwe
- Engagement and acceptability of educational telehealth interventions among family caregivers with a child with Autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review
- The role of family in determining dietary and physical activity habits and motivating/discouraging change in children
- An evidence synthesis into the epidemiological transmission modelling of Bovine tuberculosis
In a paper published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, we discuss key issues in applying an evidence-based approach to the prescribing of antibiotics to children.
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to global health, yet antibiotics are frequently prescribed in primary care for acute childhood illness, where there is evidence of very limited clinical effectiveness. Moral philosophy supports the need for doctors to consider wider society, including future patients, when treating present individuals, and it is clearly wrong to waste antibiotics in situations where they are largely clinically ineffective at the expense of future generations.
Doctors should feel confident in applying principles of antibiotic stewardship when treating children in primary care, but they must explain these to parents. Provision of accurate, accessible information about the benefits and harms of antibiotics is key to an ethical approach to antimicrobial stewardship and to supporting shared decision making. Openness and honesty about drivers for antibiotic requests and prescribing may further allow parents to have their concerns heard and help clinicians to develop with them an understanding of shared goals.
All this requires adequate time in the consultation; for both a thorough clinical assessment of the child; and a full discussion with the parents about the appropriateness, benefits and risks of antibiotic treatment.
In recent years, the NHS has invested in ‘extended hours’ schemes, whereby general practice are encourage to open beyond their contracted hours of 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday. In a study published in the British Journal of General Practice, we examined associations between overall experience of general practice and patient experience of making appointments and satisfaction with opening hours using data from the General Practice Patient Survey.
We found that patient experience of making appointments and satisfaction with opening hours were only modestly associated with overall experience. Patient satisfaction was most strongly associated with GP interpersonal quality of care
We concluded that policymakers in England should not assume that recent policies to improve access will result in large improvements in patients’ overall experience of general practice.
The article was covered by the medical magazine Pulse.
In an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Paul Jewell and I discuss the issue of foundation doctors and specialist training. Only around 43% of junior doctors entered straight into a UK specialty training programme after completion of their foundation programme in 2017, a substantial decrease from 71% in 2011. Given the National Health Service in the UK is under ever-increasing workforce pressures, this is a worrying trend. The decline in entry to specialty training can be partly explained by the rise in what is known as ‘the F3 year’. Concerns over this ‘junior doctor exodus’ are not new, having been previously raised in 2010, when the figures were far more favourable than they are now. Similar trends can also be seen at earlier stages, with fewer school students applying to medical school, and fewer medical students applying to the foundation programme,4 indicating wider issues. To reverse this trend and the shortage of doctors in many specialties, solutions to encourage more foundation doctors to enter specialty training need to be considered.
England is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles, with around 440 laboratory confirmed cases between January to May 2018. The outbreak is linked to ongoing outbreaks in Europe. Most cases are unimmunised teenagers and young adults. Children and young adults who did not receive MMR vaccine when they were younger, and people from under-vaccinated communities, are particularly at high risk.
Measles is a highly infectious illness that can sometimes cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and which can occasionally be fatal. Anyone who missed out on their Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or is unsure if they had 2 doses should therefore ensure they are fully immunised.
The outbreak also reinforces the importance of parents to ensure their children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first at around 12 months of age and the second around 3-4 years of age.
An article from Imperial College London published in the Lancet discusses vaccination from migrants in Europe. Ensuring high levels of coverage is a key priority of the European Vaccine Action Plan, whereby all WHO Europe Member States have committed to eliminating endemic measles and rubella (>95% coverage with the measles mumps rubella vaccine), sustaining polio-free status, and controlling hepatitis B infection.
Our recent paper in BMJ Open Gastroenterology examines trends in endoscopic, medical and surgical admissions for inflammatory bowel disease in England from 2003–2013. In the last decade, there have been major advances in inflammatory bowel disease management but their impact on hospital admissions requires evaluation. We aim to investigate nationwide trends in inflammatory bowel disease surgical/medical elective and emergency admissions, including endoscopy and cytokine inhibitor infusions, between 2003 and 2013.
We used Hospital Episode Statistics and population data from the UK Office for National Statistics. Age-sex standardised admission rates increased from 76.5 to 202.9/100 000. Rising inflammatory bowel disease hospital admission rates in the past decade have been driven by an increase in the incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease. Lower GI endoscopy and surgery rates have fallen, while cytokine inhibitor infusion rates have risen. There has been a concurrent shift from emergency care to shorter elective hospital stays. These trends indicate a move towards more elective medical management and may reflect improvements in disease control.
Health inequalities start very early in life. By the time of school reception year (4-5 years of age), children from the most deprived areas of England are twice as likely to be obese as children from the most affluent areas. This illustrates the importance of the implementing policies to improve health at a very early stage, starting before conception, continuing through pregnancy, and then into infancy and childhood.
Source: NHS Digital http://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB30258