Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

World-class teaching and research that helps general practitioners and other health professionals deliver better care in the community.

  • The commissioning process in the NHS: The theory and application

    16 August 2017

    This article explores the commissioning process introduced into the NHS in 1991. Its purpose is to consider the relevance of this experience for future commissioning structures. In particular the implementation of Changing Childbirth (Department of Health 1993) is discussed as an illustration of the commissioning process in action. The article is informed by empirical data gathered from four research sites within the NHS. © 2002 Taylor and Francis Ltd.

  • Closing the gap between research and practice in health: Lessons from a clinical effectiveness initiative

    16 August 2017

    Pressure to utilize research evidence in decisions about patient care and population health, so-called evidence-based medicine, has swept the health care systems of most industrial countries. In the UK, the attention of policy makers has recently turned from the production of more 'effectiveness information' to the more fundamental challenge of understanding the factors involved in influencing the attitudes and practices of health care professionals. This article seeks to contribute to this process by reporting the findings of an evaluation of a clinical effectiveness initiative established in Wales between 1996-9 (Locock et al. 1999). The study shows that a number of different factors are involved in improving the implementation of effectiveness information, including the strength of the evidence, and the role of peer influence. However it is the interaction of various elements rather than any single factor, which appears to be crucial. These findings are important not only for health but for informing future interventions across other parts of the public sector. © 2002 Taylor and Francis Ltd.

  • Study Protocal

    16 August 2017

  • Maximising value from a United Kingdom Biomedical Research Centre: study protocol.

    25 September 2017

    BACKGROUND: Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are partnerships between healthcare organisations and universities in England. Their mission is to generate novel treatments, technologies, diagnostics and other interventions that increase the country's international competitiveness, to rapidly translate these innovations into benefits for patients, and to improve efficiency and reduce waste in healthcare. As NIHR Oxford BRC (Oxford BRC) enters its third 5-year funding period, we seek to (1) apply the evidence base on how best to support the various partnerships in this large, multi-stakeholder research system and (2) research how these partnerships play out in a new, ambitious programme of translational research. METHODS: Organisational case study, informed by the principles of action research. A cross-cutting theme, 'Partnerships for Health, Wealth and Innovation' has been established with multiple sub-themes (drug development, device development, business support and commercialisation, research methodology and statistics, health economics, bioethics, patient and public involvement and engagement, knowledge translation, and education and training) to support individual BRC research themes and generate cross-theme learning. The 'Partnerships' theme will support the BRC's goals by facilitating six types of partnership (with patients and citizens, clinical services, industry, across the NIHR infrastructure, across academic disciplines, and with policymakers and payers) through a range of engagement platforms and activities. We will develop a longitudinal progress narrative centred around exemplar case studies, and apply theoretical models from innovation studies (Triple Helix), sociology of science (Mode 2 knowledge production) and business studies (Value Co-creation). Data sources will be the empirical research studies within individual BRC research themes (who will apply separately for NHS ethics approval), plus documentary analysis and interviews and ethnography with research stakeholders. This study has received ethics clearance through the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee. DISCUSSION: We anticipate that this work will add significant value to Oxford BRC. We predict accelerated knowledge translation; closer alignment of the innovation process with patient priorities and the principles of responsible, ethical research; reduction in research waste; new knowledge about the governance and activities of multi-stakeholder research partnerships and the contexts in which they operate; and capacity-building that reflects the future needs of a rapidly-evolving health research system.

  • Studying scale-up and spread as social practice: Theoretical introduction and empirical case study

    5 October 2017

    Background: Health and care technologies often succeed on a small scale but fail to achieve widespread use (scale-up) or become routine practice in other settings (spread). One reason for this is under-theorization of the process of scale-up and spread, for which a potentially fruitful theoretical approach is to consider the adoption and use of technologies as social practices. Objective: This study aimed to use an in-depth case study of assisted living to explore the feasibility and usefulness of a social practice approach to explaining the scale-up of an assisted-living technology across a local system of health and social care. Methods: This was an individual case study of the implementation of a Global Positioning System (GPS) "geo-fence" for a person living with dementia, nested in a much wider program of ethnographic research and organizational case study of technology implementation across health and social care (Studies in Co-creating Assisted Living Solutions [SCALS] in the United Kingdom). A layered sociological analysis included micro-level data on the index case, meso-level data on the organization, and macro-level data on the wider social, technological, economic, and political context. Data (interviews, ethnographic notes, and documents) were analyzed and synthesized using structuration theory. Results: A social practice lens enabled the uptake of the GPS technology to be studied in the context of what human actors found salient, meaningful, ethical, legal, materially possible, and professionally or culturally appropriate in particular social situations. Data extracts were used to illustrate three exemplar findings. First, professional practice is (and probably always will be) oriented not to "implementing technologies" but to providing excellent, ethical care to sick and vulnerable individuals. Second, in order to "work," health and care technologies rely heavily on human relationships and situated knowledge. Third, such technologies do not just need to be adopted by individuals; they need to be incorporated into personal habits and collaborative routines (both lay and professional). Conclusions: Health and care technologies need to be embedded within sociotechnical networks and made to work through situated knowledge, personal habits, and collaborative routines. A technology that "works" for one individual in a particular set of circumstances is unlikely to work in the same way for another in a different set of circumstances. We recommend the further study of social practices and the application of co-design principles. However, our findings suggest that even if this occurs, the scale-up and spread of many health and care technologies will be neither rapid nor smooth.

  • Determinants of initiation, implementation, and discontinuation of amoxicillin by adults with acute cough in primary care

    16 August 2017

    © 2017 Gillespie et al. Aim: To investigate the determinants of adherence to amoxicillin in patients with acute lower respiratory tract infection. Materials and methods: Three European data sets were used. Adherence data were collected using self-reported diaries. Candidate determinants included factors relating to patient, condition, therapy, health care system/provider, and the study in which the patient participated. Logistic and Cox regression models were used to investigate the determinants of initiation, implementation, and discontinuation of amoxicillin. Results: Although initiation differed across samples, implementation and discontinuation were similar. Determinants of initiation were days waited before consulting, duration of prescription, and being in a country where a doctor-issued sick certificate is required for being off work for 7 days. Implementation was higher for older participants or those with abnormal auscultation. Implementation was lower for those prescribed longer courses of amoxicillin (≥8 days). Time from initiation to discontinuation was longer for longer prescriptions and shorter for those from countries where single-handed practices were widespread. Conclusion: Nonadherence to amoxicillin was largely driven by noninitiation. Differing sets of determinants were found for initiation, implementation, and discontinuation. There is a need to further understand the reasons for these determinants, the impact of poor adherence to antibiotics on outcomes, and to develop interventions to improve antibiotic use when prescribed.

  • Short-course versus long-course oral antibiotic treatment for infections treated in outpatient settings: a review of systematic reviews.

    12 October 2017

    Purpose: To summarize the evidence comparing the effectiveness of short and long courses of oral antibiotics for infections treated in outpatient settings. Methods: We identified systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials for children and adults with bacterial infections treated in outpatient settings from Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and The Database of Review of Effects. Data were extracted on the primary outcome of clinical resolution and secondary outcomes. Results: We identified 30 potential reviews, and included 9. There was no difference in the clinical cure for children treated with short or long course antibiotics for Group A streptococcal tonsillopharyngitis (OR 1.03, 95% CI:0.97, 1.11); community acquired pneumonia (RR 0.99, 95% CI:0.97, 1.01); acute otitis media [<2 years old OR: 1.09 (95% CI:0.76, 1.57); ≥2 years old OR: 0.85 (95% CI:0.60, 1.21)]; or urinary tract infection (RR 1.06, 95% CI:0.64, 1.76). There was no difference in the clinical cure for adults treated with short or long course antibiotics for acute bacterial sinusitis (RR 0.95, 95% CI:0.81, 1.21); uncomplicated cystitis in non-pregnant women (RR 1.10, 95% CI:0.96, 1.25), or elderly women (RR: 0.98, 95% CI:0.62, 1.54); acute pyelonephritis (RR 1.03, 95% CI:0.80, 1.32); or community acquired pneumonia (RR: 0.96, 95% CI:0.74, 1.26). We found inadequate evidence about the effect on antibiotic resistance. Conclusions: This overview of systematic reviews has identified good quality evidence that short course antibiotics are as effective as longer courses for most common infections managed in ambulatory care. The impact on antibiotic resistance and associated treatment failure requires further study.

  • Patient use of blood pressure self-screening facilities in general practice waiting rooms: A qualitative study in the UK

    28 September 2017

    © British Journal of General Practice 2017. Background Blood pressure (BP) self-screening, whereby members of the public have access to BP monitoring equipment outside of healthcare consultations, may increase the detection and treatment of hypertension. Currently in the UK such opportunities are largely confined to GP waiting rooms. Aim To investigate the reasons why people do or do not use BP self-screening facilities. Design and setting A cross-sectional, qualitative study in Oxfordshire, UK. Method Semi-structured interviews with members of the general public recruited using posters in GP surgeries and community locations were recorded, transcribed, and coded thematically. Results Of the 30 interviewees, 20% were hypertensive and almost half had self-screened. Those with no history of elevated readings had limited concern over their BP: self-screening filled the time waiting for their appointment or was done to help their doctor. Patients with hypertension self-screened to avoid the feelings they associated with 'white coat syndrome' and to introduce more control into the measurement process. Barriers to self-screening included a lack of awareness, uncertainty about technique, and worries over measuring BP in a public place. An unanticipated finding was that several interviewees preferred monitoring their BP in the waiting room than at home. Conclusion BP self-screening appeared acceptable to service users. Further promotion and education could increase awareness among non-users of the need for BP screening, the existence of self-screening facilities, and its ease of use. Waiting room monitors could provide an alternative for patients with hypertension who are unwilling or unable to monitor at ho me.

  • EBM DataLab

    25 April 2017

  • Cancer Research

    26 June 2012

  • Heart Failure Research

    26 June 2012

    Research into the main causes and impact of heart failure, with a linked programme on its better diagnosis.

  • Stroke Prevention and Atrial Fibrillation

    26 June 2012

    Reducing the risk of stroke is vital to improving the health of older people. We research ‘funny turns’ that are a warning sign of stroke (termed ‘transient ischaemic attacks’) and the detection and treatment of major risk factors for stroke - high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

  • Primary Care for the Developing World

    26 June 2012

    Our aim is to support the provision of high quality primary health care in countries with limited economic resources, undertaking research and policy development in collaboration with academic institutions, NGOs and government agencies.

  • Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group

    26 June 2012

    We produce and help others to produce systematic reviews and meta-analyses of interventions to prevent and treat tobacco addiction. Cochrane is dedicated to making high quality, accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available worldwide.

  • Diabetes and long-term conditions

    26 June 2012

    We work to develop and evaluate new ways to help people with single and multiple long-term conditions improve their health through better self-management. We aim to do this through development and evaluation of tests, interventions, and technologies, appropriately targeted and used for prevention, treatment and monitoring.

  • Monitoring and Diagnosis (MaDOx)

    26 June 2012

    Our aim is to improve monitoring and diagnostics used in primary care and community settings.

  • Infectious Diseases Research Group

    26 June 2012

    We investigate infectious diseases in primary care to find out how we can identify patients with serious infection in primary care, and more effective ways of diagnosing and treating patients with common infections.

  • Medical Statistics Group

    26 June 2012

    Our aim is to support clinical research in primary care and to advance the way we answer clinical questions using statistics to improve healthcare worldwide.