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Showing posts from February, 2017

The status of the patient safety culture in Arab countries

A recent study from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London, published in the journal BMJ Open, explored the status of the patient safety culture in Arab countries. We identified that non-punitive response to error is seen as a serious issue which needs to be improved. Healthcare professionals in the Arab countries tend to think that a ‘culture of blame’ still exists that prevents them from reporting incidents. We found an overall similarity between the reported composite score for dimension of teamwork within units in all of the reviewed studies. Teamwork within units was found to be better than teamwork across hospital units. We concluded that there is a need to promote patient safety culture as a strategy for improving the patient safety in the Arab world. Improving patient safety culture should include all stakeholders, like policymakers, healthcare providers and those responsible for medical education.…

Why I became the mental health champion for the School of Public Health

Azeem Majeed is Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. He explains why he became the mental health champion for the School of Public Health.

As a doctor with over 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS, I am aware of the impact that mental health problems can have on people’s health, well-being and quality of life, as well as on their family and friends. Mental health problems are also important for employers, and result in considerable financial costs in lost production and in staff absences from the work-place due to ill-health. However, even though mental health problems are very common, many people find it difficult to talk about them. Encouraging a supportive environment in the workplace that reduces the risk of mental health problems developing – and in supporting staff to seek help when mental health problems do arise – is very important for employers. It improves employees’ health and well-being, a…

NIHR CLAHRC: Deprescribing initiative

A major challenge for healthcare, particularly for older people, is that patients are ending up on many medicines, termed ‘polypharmacy’. Polypharmacy can be either ‘appropriate’ or ‘problematic.’ With the latter, prescribing professions are traditionally better at starting medicines than stopping them (for a variety of reasons), which means that patients are too often left with problematic polypharmacy that can lead to side effects, interactions, and an inability to manage to take them all.

The NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Northwest London (CLAHRC NWL) have an active Medicines Optimisation work stream. A lot of work has been done around the need for medication review and stopping unnecessary medicines when problematic polypharmacy occurs. The term ‘deprescribing’ has emerged strongly in the literature and CLAHRC NWL have put together what we think is the first journal issue devoted to the topic of deprescribing.

The themed issue is partic…

Dr Filippos Filippidis speaks on tobacco control to the Slovenian National Council

Dr Filippos Filippidis, Lecturer of Public Health at PCPH, was invited to speak at the Slovenian National Council in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the 21st of October 2016. The Slovenian parliament is currently discussing new tobacco control legislation and European tobacco control experts were invited to support the decision making process. The event was organised by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP) and provided a discussion forum between scientists, tobacco control advocates and Slovenian MPs and government officials. Dr Filippidis’ presentation focused on the importance of tobacco taxation and the option of earmarking tobacco taxes for health promotion and tobacco control activities. Closing the event, Mrs Milojka Kolar Celarc, Health Minister of Slovenia expressed her firm support for tobacco control in Slovenia, which is preparing to enter a new era in its tobacco control efforts.

Self-Care Academic and Research Unit (SCARU)

In a recent horizon scanning exercise, the School of Public Health recognised the rising importance of self-care as a means to empower patients and support an NHS fit for 21st Century England, identifying ‘self-care’ as an important area of academic interest. Further to participation in the annual Self Care Conference, the Department of Primary & Public Health recently met with Dr Pete Smith OBE (Co-Chair of the Self Care Forum) and Dr David Webber (Head of the international Self Care Foundation) with a view to help establish Imperial College as an academic base of selfcare in England.

The Self Care Forum is a national charity that seeks to develop and promote self-care throughout life and work, and encourages the recognition and embedding of self-care in all our lives. It defines self-care as the ‘actions that individuals take for themselves and on behalf of or with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness’. This includes Hea…

Impact of the organisation and performance of health systems on the control of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

An Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in Guinea and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014. The health systems in place in the three countries lacked the infrastructure and the preparation to respond to the outbreak quickly and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a public health emergency of international concern on August 8 2014. We conducted a study to determine the effects of health systems’ organisation and performance on the West African Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and lessons learned. The WHO health system building blocks were used to evaluate the performance of the health systems in these countries.

A systematic review of articles published from inception until July 2015 was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. The review was supplemented with expert interviews where participants were identified from reference lists and using the snowball method.  Ensuring an adequate and efficient health workforce is of the utmost importance to e…

ICCDP awarded million pound grant

The Imperial Centre for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (PI Prof Kausik Ray) was awarded a million pound grant to study the patterns of care around cholesterol control among those with established vascular diseases or at very high risk of vascular disease. The study will be coordinated through the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit across 18 European countries involving 6000 participants. This study will compare the patterns of care across Europe, between primary and secondary care, rural and urban settings. The impact of drug cost, guideline knowledge and clinical setting on achievement of cholesterol targets and the predicted risk of cardiovascular disease will be assessed. The findings are expected in 2018.