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Showing posts from June, 2013

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…