Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2009

MPH Session on Primary Care Data

I gave a seminar on electronic primary care records last week on the Imperial College MPH programme, as part of the module on health information. The seminar covered the uses of data from primary care records to support public health, epidemiological, health services and clinical research. As more general practitioners use electronic primary care records, the scope for secondary uses of the data derived from them will increase. Further information is available from two of my publications on primary care data, published by the Eastern Region Public Health Observatory and in Health Statistics Quarterly.

NHS Choices

NHS Choices is a service that aims to give patients and the public information about their health and healthcare. The service is intended to help patients and the public make decisions choices about their health, from lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking and exercise, through to the practical aspects of finding and using NHS services in England. My practice now has a page on NHS choices, which we have now updated. In coming months, we will be aiming to make more use of the facilities available via NHS Choices to support our patients.

Should the QOF focus on outcome targets?

The Quality & Outcomes Framework (QOF) is now well established in primary care. With control of the framework now lying with the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE), we can expect a greater focus on the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of quality indicators. In the early years of the QOF, a large proportion of target payments were awarded for achieving process measures, such as measuring blood pressure or HbA1c. Achievement of such process measures is now very high, with little room for improvement in many practices and limited potential for further health gain.

By contrast, control of key risk factors, such as blood pressure in people with hypertension, or HBA1c in people with diabetes, could still be improved considerably. But changing patients' behaviour or optimising their management to achieve such improvements is difficult and imposes a considerable workload on primary care. So it is logical to consider increasing the financial ince…

WHO Meeting on Technology and Patient Safety

Information technology has great potential to improve the quality and safety of healthcare. However, this potential has not yet been fully realised and considerable work remains to be done in this field. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization held a meeting on technology and patient safety. I chaired one of the four working groups, which were comprised of members from across the world. My working group has now completed its report, which is currently undergoing peer review.

IEF Saharawi Refugee Event

The International Educational Fund held a successful event to raise funds for their project to aid Saharawi refugee children living in Algeria. Amongst the speakers at the event were myself, Professor Alan Fenwick, Professor Sir Roy Anderson, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor Yahia Zoubir and Ms Danielle Smith. Pictured above are Sir Roy Anderson, Alan Fenwick, Suha Bachir (the current chair of the IEF) and myself along with some of the other executive members of the IEF. Congratulations to the IEF for all the hard work they put in to make this event successful.

Academic Clinical Fellow Posts in Public Health

Three Academic Clinical Fellow Posts in Public Health linked to Imperial College are currently being advertised. For further details of the application process, please see the London Deanery website. The job description is also available on the London Deanery Website. The deadline for applications is December 4th 2009. The posts offer the opportunity to undertake public health training with an academic focus and dedicated time for research. Please note, these posts are only open to medically qualified candidates with full GMC registration.

IEF Project Launch Event

The IEF will launch a project for Saharawi refugees on November 11th 2009. Th IEF will provide computers for local schools working alongside a blind school, helping them receive specialist equipment, You can purchase tickets to attend at the IEF's Sahara Project Just Giving page.