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Text Messaging Data Collection for Monitoring an Infant Feeding Intervention Program in Rural China

A recently published study in the Journal of Medical Internet Researchexplored the feasibility of using text messaging as a data collection tool to monitor an infant feeding intervention program in rural China. The text messaging method had reasonable data agreement and low cost, but a low response rate.

An effective data collection method is crucial for high quality monitoring of health interventions. The traditional face-to-face data collection method is labour intensive, expensive, and time consuming. With the rapid increase of mobile phone subscribers, text messaging has the potential to be used for evaluation of population health interventions in rural China. Further research is needed to evaluate effectiveness of measures that can increase the response rate, especially in collecting longitudinal data by text messaging.



Dr Aisha Newth Appointed as New Faculty Development Lead

Dr Aisha Newth has taken on the role of Faculty Development Lead in our Undergraduate General Practice Teaching Unit.  Some of you may already know Dr Newth as she has been working in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College for 9 years. She was co-lead on the Year 5 GPPHC course for the last 4 years. In her new role as Faculty Development Lead, Dr Newth will develop community teaching and to support our GP teachers in NW London. Dr Newth is also a GP Principal at Crown Street Surgery in Acton, West London.

Dr Newth comments that "I have always found teaching students to be rewarding, enjoyable and integral to my role as a GP. I learn something new from each student who comes my way and hopefully impart some knowledge onto them. Taking students in my practice reminds me how valuable teaching is for both the teacher and the student as it encourages mutual growth and reflection and continues the learning process, it also brings new energy and enthusia…

How many children start smoking every year?

Research published today has attempted to quantify how many children start smoking ever year in the UK. Using data from the Smoking Drinking and Drug Use Survey the study compared smoking rates for 11 to 15 year olds between the latest two years of the survey. This gave an estimate of 207,000 children starting smoking every year across the whole of the U.K. Incorporating data on adult smoking prevalence, the study was also able to break this estimate down by Local Authority, so that public health attention can be appropriately focused at the local level.

Although there is some uncertainty around these estimates, they represent our current best guess of the uptake of a leading cause of death, which has even more serious health impacts if started in childhood. Although smoking prevalence has declined in the last 30 years, this trend may be stalling and these estimates should add weight to calls for stronger action on smoking, and contribute to the current review on standardised packagi…

Imperial GP Textbook wins BMA Book Award

Congratulations to Dr Carol Cooper, Dr Graham Easton, and Margaret Harper from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London who, along with Paul Booton from SGUL, won First Prize in the Primary Health Care Section of the 2013 BMA Book Awards for their text book “General Practice at a Glance”. As well as the four editors, there were 21 other Imperial GP Teachers (either college staff or honorary teachers) who contributed at least one chapter to the book. The BMA Medical Book Awards take place annually to recognise outstanding contributions to the medical literature. More than 640 books were entered for the awards this year with prizes awarded in 21 categories. The judging panel awards prizes on the basis of books’ applicability to audience, production quality and originality. Prizes were presented by Professor Steve Field, Deputy National Medical Director of Health Inequalities NHS England.

“We wanted to write a really useful text book that reflected o…

Undergraduate primary care teaching at Imperial College London

The Department’s Undergraduate GP Teaching Unit consists of over 25 staff with course leads, teaching fellows, and administrators. It is led by Dr Sonia Kumar, Director of Undergraduate Primary Care Education and Dr Jo Harris, the Deputy Director. It is one of the most active and innovative teaching teams in the Faculty of Medicine, with around 300 community GP teachers providing teaching for hundreds of students every year and it achieves some of the highest feedback ratings from students in the Medical school. And there are exciting developments on the horizon.

Across all years, the GP Teaching Unit delivers about 13% of the entire undergraduate medical curriculum. Core GP-based teaching is focused on two three-week attachments in years 5 and 6, basic history-taking and examination skills in year 3, and a chance to follow patients early on in year 1 in the First Clinical Attachment. The Department also leads on teaching on clinical consultation skills, using video and simulated act…

Annual Athena SWAN Lecture

The Annual Athena SWAN Lecture organised by Imperial College London's School of Public Health took place on 11 September 2013. Professor Dame Val Beral from Oxford University spoke on ‘What women can do to stay healthy'. With a lecture theatre filled to capacity, and a keen audience ready to take on board her advice, Dame Val Beral gave her tips on how women can stay healthy. These included:
Don’t smoke; give up if you doKeep your weight downBreastfeed if you have childrenExercise regularlyDrink as little alcohol as possibleEat plenty of fruit and vegetablesTake the pill, but stop before age 40 yearsTake hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as little as possible You can watch the video of Professor Beral's lecture

Update from Dr Foster Unit

The Dr Foster Unit welcomes Dr Alice King, who joined in August as a Research Associate. Her background is in clinical neuroscience and her area of interest is improving risk benefit ratios in healthcare. Within the Unit she will start by analysing and investigating Medicare data to assist in exploring variations in service quality and to summarise variations in US hospital care.

In September, Dr Alex Bottle attended the IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics in Philadelphia, PA where he presented at the International Workshop on Hospital Readmissions

The Dr Foster Unit made a strong showing at ISQua’s 30th International Conference which took place in Edinburgh from 13-16 October. Dr Milagros Ruiz presented a poster on her work on the impact of the 2012 doctors’ strike, Dr Alex Bottle presented a poster and a talk on patient and hospital predictors of readmission in heart failure and Dr Paul Aylin presented posters on adverse events recorded in English Primary Care, …

Socio-economic deprivation and Sickle Cell Disease

Patients with Sickle Cell Disease living in more deprived areas are more likely to be admitted to hospital again according to a recent study by AlJuburi and colleagues. Taking data from Hospital Episode Statistics, the study followed up almost 8,000 patients admitted to hospital for SCD in 2005/06 for the next five years. The study also found that patients in more deprived areas were more likely to die over the period.

Sickle Cell Disease is known to be a cause of frequent hospitalisation and previous work by the same authors described rising trend of admissions in England. Readmissions to hospital are however, considered to be a better marker of the quality of care in this population and this study gives information on which groups are at greatest risk of poor outcomes. As well as providing an epidemiology of hospital readmissions, this study suggests that targeted interventions aimed at people at high risk of readmission may be effective in improving both quality of care and heal…

Iraqi Advanced Academic Training Course

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education & Training recently hosted three delegates from Iraq for an Advanced Academic Training Course – (Professor Nada Al-Alwan-Pathology, Professor Nadim Noaman-Community Medicine, and Assistant Professor Basim Alhilali-Family Medicine). Their intensive programme, scheduled over a four week period, aimed to strengthen the delegates’ skills and allow them to gain experience in current and innovative teaching methodologies.

The interactive nature of the course (e.g. teaching and research, teaching Health Needs Assessment (Undergraduate & Postgraduate), conduct a mock PhD Exam with PhD candidates from Imperial College at different stages of their research studies) means that participants will be able to deliver modern person-centred teaching and understand the techniques to conduct high level research.

Partners for delivering this initiative include the Ministry of Higher Education in Iraq (MoHE), Imperial College Healthcare NHS…

The Right to Health: A multi-country study of law, policy and practice

On the 24th August 2013, Professor Salman Rawaf – WHO Collaborating Centre Director - and Dr Sondus Hassounah – WHO CC Research Assistant, presented the finding of their latest research on the Right to Health in the Arab World at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland. The Conference was a intended to show case the work of all those participating in the global study; The Right to Health: a multi-country study of law, policy and practice, which offers an in-depth assessment and comprehensive analysis of the ‘Right to Health’ in the Middle East and North Africa, with particular emphasis on the role of Health systems in providing Universal Coverage for Health (UHC) and Health Care.

This study focuses on the implementation of the right to health at a regional and national level. The project brings together a set of experts from different parts in the world, which each analyse the implementation of the right to health in their country or region, thereby focusing on a particu…

Supporting carers DVD highly commended in BMA medical book awards

TheRCGP Supporting Carers in General Practice DVD has been highly commended in the 2013 BMA Medical Book Awards in the digital and online resources category. Feedback was that it is a "well-produced resource which demonstrates its research background. It is professionally produced and engagingly presented and I am sure will go a long way in increasing awareness of the work of carers".

This training DVD for GPs and their practice teams enables training on supporting carers to be fitted round work and other commitments by providing an interactive resource that can be used in-house for practice training and for CPD. It gives the rationale behind increasing awareness and support for carers, whilst highlighting areas that can be commonly be improved, or changed to the benefit of both carer and practice. The DVD content is also being transferred onto the RCGP Online Learning Environment so will be available for all to access online from November 2013.

The project was overseen for …

Year 1 Imperial GP Trainees win Prestigious London GP Prize

The Imperial Vocational Training Scheme, now in its second year, aims to provide innovative programmes for GP training. This year, six trainees have been involved in an exciting paediatrics with integrated care placement based at St Mary’s Hospital. In addition to a two month clinical placement, this post provides involvement in many projects with a view to improving the connections between primary and secondary care services which will be invaluable in their future careers as GPs.

A selection of these projects was presented at the London School of General Practice Annual Trainee Conference and provided an opportunity to share work. Three Specialist Trainees in the Imperial scheme, Chiara Haynes, Kat Holt and Morag Lenman were awarded top prize in the category ‘Research and Audit’ for their presentation “Connecting Care for Children’s Health". An extended version was also presented at the St Mary’s Hospital Paediatric Grand Round which generated a lot of interest from paediatric…

Quality of care for people living in care homes

In an article published on the King's Fund Blog, Duncan Hockey from the Imperial College GP Specialist Training Scheme discusses the quality of care received by the residents of nursing homes. Care home residents are amongst the most frail and vulnerable people in our society, with a high need for care and a high use of health care services - including those supplied by general practitioners, community staff and hospitals. In his article, Dr Hockey discuses the need for better standards of care and the provision of adequate resources to ensure that the needs of this section of the public are met.

Seminar on Sample Size Calculation

The Department of Primary Care and Public Health Invites you to attend a Practical Biostatistics Seminar on Sample Size Calculation By Kiara Chang, PhD Student and statistician, DPCPH, Imperial College London.

Wednesday 9th October 2013 at 11.00am
Venue: Seminar Room, 3rd Floor, Reynolds Building
Charing Cross Campus, London W6 8RP

Sample size calculations are often a formality in grant applications and can be a real headache. Kiara will demystify the process in this practical seminar.

Dr Sonia Saxena Interviewed on ITV

Dr Sonia Saxena was interviewed in an ITV documentary on 5th September 2013, Tonight: The Unhealthy Generation. One in three British children are either overweight or obese and experts predict that by 2050 obesity will cost the NHS upwards of £50 billion. The Tonight programme asks if enough is being done to combat the childhood obesity epidemic?

Community Based Teaching for Imperial Medical Students

We are looking to increase community-based teaching opportunities for medical students at Imperial College. This would be part of a long-term objective to shift more of our teaching to the community to reflect the current and future delivery of NHS services.

As a first step, we would like to carry out a scoping exercise to identify community-based clinics (e.g. cardiology, diabetes, dermatology) and also services for unplanned care (e.g. urgent care centres). We would then like to discuss whether any of these settings would be suitable for teaching Imperial medical students and whether the clinics & CCGs would be willing to facilitate this process.

Musculoskeletal-Disease Prevalence Models

The department has been awarded a Strategic Grant by Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) to take forward its “MSK (musculoskeletal) Calculator” initiative. The overall aim of the project is to develop four (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and high fracture risk) estimates of prevalence and need for healthcare at general practice and small resident population levels, and to relate this to actual and expected activity and costs, and where possible intervention thresholds and cost-effectiveness. The Grant, for which the department will receive a total of £180K over the next year, will enable ARUK to disseminate the models in useful formats through its website and other national information portals. The department has wide experience in developing chronic disease prevalence models, having been funded for this purpose by the Department of Health, the Association of Public Health Observatories/Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and Alzheimer’s Research UK. These mo…

Walking to work cuts risk of diabetes and high blood pressure

People who walk to work are around 40 per cent less likely to have diabetes as those who drive, according to a new study by Anthony Laverty and colleagues published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. A team from Imperial College London and University College London examined how various health indicators related to how people get to work, using data from a survey of 20,000 people across the UK. They found that cycling, walking, and using public transport were all associated with lower risk of being overweight than driving or taking a taxi. People who walk to work were also 17% less likely than people who drive to have high blood pressure. Cyclists were around half as likely to have diabetes as drivers.

Community Health Worker Video

Dr Matt Harris, Lecturer in Public Health, has contributed to the production of a video on the Brazilian Community Health Worker role.  For the last year, Dr Harris has been working to translate this role into the UK health system and is now in the final stage of a major NIHR grant proposal submission.  The video was supported by the Department of Health, and the British Embassy in Brazil, and was made in March during a visit to Brazil with a delegation from Bangor University, Public Health Wales, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in North Wales.

Department of Health funding for research aimed at improving healthcare services in NW London.

The Department of Health has announced £10 million of renewed funding for a programme of research aimed at improving healthcare services.

The National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) for Northwest London was established in October 2008 to help translate research from the lab bench to the hospital bedside.The new funding from the Department of Health, combined with a further £12M in matched funding from the NHS, universities, charities and industry partners, will support the collaboration for the next five years. The NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London is hosted by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, with Imperial College London as the lead academic partner.

Professor Derek Bell, Director of NIHR CLAHRC for Northwest London and Chair in Acute Medicine at Imperial, said: “This is very exciting news and we are delighted that the Department of Health continues to put research high on the healthcar…

Congratulations to Dr Liz Koshy

A paper published by Dr Liz Koshy and colleagues - 'Significantly increasing hospital admissions for acute throat infections among children in England: is this related to tonsillectomy rates?' - has won the Medicines for Children category for the 2012 RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award. Study lead for this research, Dr Koshy, from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London reported that "Tonsillectomy is a major and costly operation with potentially serious complications. So, it seems sensible for clinicians to maintain a high threshold for referring children with recurrent throat infections for tonsillectomy and restrict it to those children who are most severely affected by these infections."

World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training was formally designated, with British Government approval, in June 2007 and joined Imperial College and the Department of Primary Care Public Health in 2008. The work of the centre falls into four main categories: innovative training, academic exchange, capacity building and research. Over the past five years their work in these fields has supported WHO Geneva and Regional Offices in promoting health, enhancing primary health care, strengthening human resource capacity, addressing the escalating worldwide problem of non-communicable disease, and helping countries strengthen and manage their national health systems.

Working with governments from around the world, the centre’s focus is to develop and strengthen primary care and public health capacity through training opportunities. Under the leadership of Professor Salman Rawaf, he and team members deliver courses and training aimed at hea…

Treating Tobacco Dependence in Primary Care

A recent publication by WHO Geneva provides guidance on managing tobacco dependence in primary care. The first draft of the training package (4 parts) was produced by Lisa McNally, Elizabeth Dubois and Salman Rawaf from Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London with further inputs to the final draft following piloting in 12 countries of the 6 regions of the WHO.

Athena SWAN Opportunities Committee

The School of Public Health and the Department of Primary Care and Public Health are making good progress on its application to renew its Silver Athena SWAN Award, given in recognition of commitment to excellent working practices and advancing science careers in women. The Opportunities Committee thanks all those who took part in the School wide Staff and Student Consultation workshops aimed at creating a positive working environment within the School of Public Health. The results are available in a report which is available on the School website and contains the views and suggestions for improvements from 75 people across all units in the School.

Obesity, regulation and grey areas

You don’t have to look far these days to find some discussion of obesity and its causes. This week it was put to the British Medical Association conference that we should ban junk food from hospitals. Two days before this J T Winkler argued in the BMJ that we need a new “brutal pragmatism on food” and that the traditional instruments of public health were all ineffectual or unacceptable in the case of food.
The traditional instruments Winkler laments are education, taxation and regulation.   He does though, comment positively on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) efforts to reduce salt consumption through reformulating food and public awareness campaigns. He is right to laud these efforts, which showed a decrease in average salt intake from 9.5 grams a day in 2000/01 to 8g/d in 2011 as well as adults becoming less likely to add salt at the table over the same period.
Despite concerns over the extent to which board members at the FSA may have had conflicting interests, it seemed generally…

Visit from Xinjiang Medical University

The Department of Primary Care and Public Health hosted a visit from Professor Yao and colleagues from the First Teaching Hospital, Xinjiang Medical University. Xinjiang is located in far west region of China, adjacent to several middle Asian countries. It faces a number of health challenges, including a rising prevalence of risk factors from diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease,

Professor Yao led a group of 12 senior staff who visited the department of 24 June 2013. The aims of the visit were to discuss collaboration in a range of areas, including: healthcare management, workforce training and development, diabetes prevention and management, medical imaging, translational medicine, and a PhD exchange programme. During their visit, they met a number of senior staff from the department, including Professor Azeem Majeed and Professor Salman Rawaf.

Annual GP Teacher Awards

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 Annual GP Teacher Awards: Dr Christine Scott, Dr Chris Smith, Dr Nishali Patel, Dr Arun Notaney, Dr Michael Davey, Dr Ravinder Kooner, Dr Peter Ryan, Dr Rosalyn Lucy, Dr Jane Williams, and Dr Frances Carter. More details about the award winners will follow later in the year.

Annual GP Teachers Conference 2013

On Friday 21 June 2013, the Department of Primary Care & Public Health held its Annual GP Teachers Conference. Over 100 GPs from across the UK attended the conference, which was organised by the Undergraduate Primary Care Education Unit at Imperial College London.

Among the highlights of the day were presentations from undergraduate students about their experience of their general practice placements. The students - who included Chee Yang Chen, Abdulrahman El-Hilly, Anna Humphreys, David Zargaran, Sarah Hardwick, Mantej Sehmblin, Dishad Sachedina, Maria Adelson, and Bhavesh Patel - all spoke very positively about their experiences and highlighted the value of teaching in primary care settings.

Other highlights of the day included presentations from Professor Sir Brian Jarman and Professor Jenny Higham; and the presentation of our Annual GP Student and Teacher Awards. The day also included a number of workshops on a wide range of topics, including ethics, patient-centredness, prim…

Staff satisfaction at hospitals may affect the quality of patient care

In the first study of its kind, Dr Richard Pinder and colleagues found that hospitals in England with lower mortality rates were more likely to have members of staff satisfied with the quality of care they provide. The findings suggest that staff satisfaction could be used as an early warning system to help spot more serious institutional failings, reported The Daily Telegraph. "If you want to choose between two hospitals, knowing that 98 per cent of doctors and nurses working there would recommend their hospital, compared with 60 per cent elsewhere is a useful thing to know," said Dr Pinder. The study was published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.

Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives

The NIHR is funding four new Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives to improve the way diseases are diagnosed. This will help patients access the most appropriate treatments more quickly and help the NHS make the best use of its resources. One of the centres, led by Professor George Hanna, will be based at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The Department of Primary Care & Public Health will contribute to the work of this centre and will lead on primary care activities.

The Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives will bring together a wide range of experts and specialists from across the NHS and industry, including clinicians and other healthcare professionals, patients, NHS commissioners and researchers and investigate a number of different clinical areas. This initiative supports the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences, which aims to provide a better environment for life sciences, improve the lives of patients and contribute to the UK’s economic growth, enabling patients to…

More deaths from surgery closer to the weekend

Patients undergoing planned surgery appear more likely to die if they have their operation at the end of the week, a study published by Paul Aylin and colleagues in the British Medical Journal has found.

Researchers at Imperial College London looked at over four million elective procedures conducted in NHS hospitals in England between 2008 and 2011. They found that 27,582 patients died within 30 days of surgery. The mortality rate was lowest for patients having operations on Monday, and increased for each subsequent day of the week. The odds of death were 44 per cent higher for operations on a Friday than a Monday.

The risk of dying was higher still for planned procedures carried out at the weekend - 82 per cent greater odds than Monday - but the number of weekend operations was small and may represent a different mix of patients. The authors suggest the findings could reflect differences in the quality of care at the weekend.

"The first 48 hours after an operation are often the…

Update from the Dr Foster Unit

Alex Bottle’s collaborative work as part of a panel evaluating Canada’s acute care hospitals has been published via the website Rate My Hospital and was produced by “the fifth estate” for CBC. Additionally, Alex held a dozen radio slots and a live web chat. Clips from his radio interview can be found on the CBC Player.

Paul Aylin and Alex Bottle attended a Dr Foster Intelligence biannual conference in New York in April for its Global Comparators project. Now in its third year, the project includes over 40 hospitals in seven countries in a data sharing and mutual learning initiative, with current focus on stroke, colorectal surgery, heart failure and orthopaedics. Alex presented outcome analyses for the stroke group.

SiKL - A Smartphone-Held Record for People with Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in England. Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, it can be a serious source of morbidity and mortality. As part of a programme of work to improve the care of people with Sickle Cell Disease  the Global eHealth Unit in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London has developed SiKL.

SiKL is a replacement for paper-based patient-held records for Sickle Cell Disease. The purpose of SiKL is to give patients a way of organising and communicating their health information during routine healthcare encounters and in emergencies. SiKL was developed with input from clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare Trust in the UK and based on existing paper-based records and emergency information letters given to people with Sickle Cell Disease.

SiKL has a number of potential advantages over paper-based record. Firstly, it won't run out of space. Secondly it's more likely to be available…

Update from Under-Graduate Primary Care Teaching Team

We are delighted to welcome Dr Jo Harris as a Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow in the department for 2 sessions a week from April. She also now has a role as Deputy Head of Year 6 in the medical school. Jo has been very active in teaching our students for some years, so it’s great to formalise her link with the department. Dr James Stratford-Martin is going on a year’s secondment to the London Office of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCSM) in Singapore. LKCSM is a joint school between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and James has been heavily involved in developing the new curriculum. The school offers a 5-year MBBS degree jointly awarded by both institutions. The first cohort of 50 medical students will be starting in August 2013, with a gradual increase to 150 students or more annually. We will be appointing someone to take on James’ role as co-course Lead for Year 5 (with Dr Aisha Newth) for the year he is away.

Transplant narrative session

As part of  first year students’ early clinical exposure at Imperial College (First Clinical Attachment), the Department of Primary Care & Public Health has developed a new narrative and film session based upon a renal transplant patient’s story, with contributions from her GP, surgeon and renal counsellor. The aims of the session are  to highlight holistic medicine, team working, good communication skills and give the students positive role models in a year when they meet few clinicians. Evaluation of the session using student focus groups suggests that the session highlights the following issues for students:

the importance of multi-disciplinary team working in this patient’s care; the impact of the surgeon’s patient centred approachhow sessions like this give the students a wider perspective on why they are studying medicinewhat sort of doctors they wanted to become.
Exposure to positive role models and demonstration of patient centred care and good team working does seem to ha…

Meeting with between Academic Imperial College GPs & Senior ICHT Representatives

On 10 April, Academic GPs from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health met with senior staff from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT), including Mark Davies (Chief Executive), Brendan Farmer (Director of Strategy) and Chris Harrison (Deputy Medical Director). The aim of the meeting was to discuss closer working between the department and ICHT in areas such as primary care service redevelopment, specialist GP training, continuing professional development for established GPs in NW London, GP liaison, and primary care research. With the proposed reconfiguration of health services in NW London, there will be a greater focus on the management of patients with chronic diseases and multi-morbidity in ambulatory and primary care settings. This will require primary care professionals to be suitably supported in their training and their day to day work; and closer working between specialist and primary care services.  The links that the Department of Primary Care & P…

Year 3 Clinical Methods Teaching - Dr Sarvesh Saini

This academic year has been a ‘bulge year’ for Year 3 with over 400 students needing placements. Fortunately CMT teachers and administrators have coped admirably with this increase. On behalf of Imperial College, Dr Sarvesh Saini would like to thank all the GPs and their staff who have helped us as CMT continues to receive very favourable feedback from the students.

Due to the continued success of Year 3 CMT, this model for GP teaching has also been extended to year 2 where 2 GP sessions are now being offered to all students from December 2013.

If any of your colleagues or trainees would like to consider being a GP teacher, please contact us for information about upcoming training courses. For current teachers, please do look at the website for current information about the course curriculum.

Year 1 First Clinical Attachment: Dr Ros Herbert

Students are visiting their patient volunteers for the 3rd time this term. The feedback from students to us is that this relationship inspires them to keep studying the basic sciences and brings their sociology and communication skills teaching to life.

Thank you so much to all the practices who have taken students for an ICE placement. This is the only clinical placement the First Years go on, so again it is much appreciated by all!

The new e-portfolio seems to be promoting much greater depth of learning and we await the results of a new joint essay with sociology. We also look forward to an away day at Cumberland lodge thinking about role modelling with an ever popular slot by Giskin Day on changes in the role of doctor’s identities in film and literature.

GP Teacher Awards

We were delighted to present our first GP Teacher Awards at last year’s Annual Teachers’ Workshop in June. These are new prizes, awarded annually by the Department of Primary Care and Public Health to reward GP teachers who have shown enduring commitment and excellence in their teaching of our students, as well as receiving consistently positive student feedback. Winners were presented with a certificate and an engraved glass trophy), along with a short citation. For 2012, we gave a prize for each of the four main GP teaching courses:

Year 1 (First Clinical Attachment) - Dr Jens Foell: “He went the extra mile for us by bringing in a professional actor to help us with our presentation skills and taking us on group trips to medical exhibitions. He also sent us relevant and very interesting literature to read up on”.

Year 3 (Clinical Methods Teaching) - Dr Caroline Jewels: “Found it really helpful that Dr Jewels tailored the sessions to suit us, based on what we felt we needed extra help …

Meeting of GP Trainers in NW London

From April 2013 onwards, postgraduate professional training in the NHS comes under the remit of Local Education & Training Boards. Professor Azeem Majeed was invited to speak at a meeting of General Practice Training Scheme Programme Directors and General Practice Trainers in NW London on 8 March to describe how general practitioners could work with Imperial College in the new landscape for postgraduate GP training.

Imperial GP Specialty Training Scheme

The Imperial GP Speciality Training Programme offers training and education for GP specialist trainees in many new areas such as public health, commissioning, primary care research and teaching, leadership and management. The unique training scheme, which is run jointly by the Department of Primary Care & Public Health and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is a three year programme consisting of two sections. The trainees spend 18 months based in general practice focusing on developing consultation skills, managing a range of primary care medical problems and completing the Clinical Skills Assessment and Work Based Programme component of the nMRCGP; and 18 months based in hospital specialties (e.g. Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine, Psychiatry). As part of the educational release programme, run by programme directors Dr Martin Block and Dr Samia Hasan, GP trainees meet for half a day on a weekly basis in this department.

Currently into the second term of …

IDF Diabetes Atlas

Professor Azeem Majeed, MPH Course Director, has been invited to join the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Atlas Committee. The IDF Diabetes Atlas is the authoritative source of evidence on the burden of diabetes for health professionals, scientists, economists, policy-makers, and national and international agencies. The evidence presented in previous editions of the IDF Diabetes Atlas has been used widely by news media, governments, and international organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Economic Forum.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman

Professor Sir Brian Jarman, Director of the Dr Foster Unit, recently appeared on Radio 4 and a Channel 4 News piece regarding the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry, discussing his involvement as an expert witness. A mortality alert system developed within the Dr Foster Unit by Professor Jarman, Dr Paul Aylin and Dr Alex Bottle detected high mortality rates at the hospital. The hospital received written notice of their high mortality rates, but in their evidence to the inquiry, claimed they were unaware of this information. Professor Jarman discussed the results of the inquiry on 20 February 2013 as part of the PCPH Seminar Series. The Daily Telegraph also covered Professor Jarman’s role in the public inquiry.

PhD successes

The following PhD students recently passed their vivas:

Layla Abdulaziz Alhyas: Quality of Diabetes Management in the UAE.

Carmen Tsang: Patient safety in English general practice-use of routinely collected data in detecting adverse events.

Carina King: Can routinely collected electronic health data be used to develop novel healthcare associated infection surveillance tools?

Qualitative Methods for Health Research

Qualitative Methods for Health Research
Geva Greenfield, Agnieszska Ignatowicz & Jessica D. Jones Nielsen (NIHR Research Design Service, Department of Primary Care & Public Health, Imperial College London)

What is qualitative research? 
Qualitative research allows researchers to investigate phenomenon by broadening and deepening their understanding through description and is used by a variety of disciplines. The strength of qualitative research lies in its ability to provide information about the “human” side of any issue – that is, it seeks to discover the meanings that participants attach to their behaviour, how they interpret and experience situations, and what their views are on particular issues. This methodology has received increasing recognition in health research as it focuses on how patients interpret and describe their experiences and captures their perspectives of healthcare.

What kind of topics can qualitative health research address?

A qualitative study exploring sel…

Dr Austen El-Osta - NIHR Primary Care Research Manager

Dr Austen El-Osta joined the Department in January 2013 to assume the role of NIHR Primary Care Research Manager with NWL CLRN. His principle aim is to widen access and participation in primary care research by engaging constructively with existing and emerging organizational forms during times of great change as the NHS transitions form one state to another. Before joining the CLRN team, Austen worked in a similar capacity in South London, where he engaged with general practices to support recruitment into NIHR-portfolio studies.

Award for Sarah Payne

Sarah Payne, a former MPH student, was awarded the prize for best oral presentation at the Association of Schools of Public Health forum at the EUPHA conference in November 2012. The presentation was based on her MPH research project (Achieving comprehensive childhood immunization: an analysis of obstacles and opportunities in The Gambia).