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Showing posts from November, 2014

WHO Meeting on Strengthening Health Systems

I am at a World Health Organization meeting in Cairo where we will be discussing how we can strengthen health systems so that they are able to cope with the rising burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension; as well as the challenges posed by infectious diseases such as Ebola. I’ll be giving one of the key note speeches as well as chairing one of the sessions.

Use of social media by health professionals

I was invited to speak at the Best Practice 2014 Conference where I spoke about the use of social media in healthcare, drawing upon my experience as an academic clinician. My lecture was well-attended with many delegates standing because all the seats had been taken. This illustrates doctors' interest in the use of social media and in particular its role in patient education, promoting the use of preventive activities such as immunisation and improving the quality of care that patients receive. You can view a copy of my presentation at the event.

Supporting clinical trials in primary care

I was at St. Mary's Hospital earlier this week to attend a meeting with Professor Neil Poulter and the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit team. We discussed methods of boosting recruitment to clinical trials - particularly industry sponsored trials - and how hospitals and general practices could work together to achieve this objective. Research on new drugs is a key area for the UK both for the benefits it can bring for people's health and the NHS, and also for its economic benefits.

Proportion of emergency admissions via A & E increasing while the proportion via GPs falling

In a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, a team from Imperial College London examined time trends in emergency hospital admissions via accident and emergency departments in England. The proportion of emergency hospital admissions in which patients were admitted via an A and;E department increased markedly in England between 2001–2002 and 2010–2011.

There are several possible explanations for this trend. These include coding changes and the greater use of A and E departments to assess patients before they are admitted as emergencies. Changes in access to general practitioners - both during normal working hours and out of hours - may also have contributed to these changes.

The findings of the study in the JRSM are similar to those from studies in the United States. Future health policy should address gatekeeping in A  and E departments and the provision of urgent care in general practice  New models of care such as urgent care services that employ GPs in A …