Rethinking community health care delivery
Our mission is to deliver world-class research, engagement and training that advances primary care, influences health policy and develops professional skills for the delivery of better health care in the community.
The top ranked centre for academic primary care in the UK, we lead world-class research and training to rethink the way healthcare is delivered in general practice and other primary care settings, both across the UK and globally. Integrating evidence and innovation, our main research focus is on the prevention, early diagnosis and management of common illness.
OUr research is internationally excellent
The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences was ranked the top centre for primary care research in the UK in the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework exercise. We were similarly judged a top centre on our 1996–2008 assessments, so have been one of the world’s most important primary care centres for almost 20 years.
Our research is led by internationally renowned scientists; many of whom are practising GPs, but we also have academics from a range of non-medical disciplines including the social sciences and humanities.
We cover the broad range of issues that you might expect to consult your GP about including cardiovascular and metabolic disease, infectious diseases and childhood illness, diet, smoking and cancer. We also focus on understanding and improving the experiences of patients, utilising big data, developing digital health interventions and working internationally.
We have methodological expertise in clinical decision making and diagnostics, clinical epidemiology, medical statistics, modelling, qualitative research and the wider application of social science theory and methods to address practical and theoretical challenges in health and care settings. We also have a dedicated in-house Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit.
The department has recently developed a new stream of clinical research which seeks to improve our understanding of chronic disease and how they are monitored by patients and their clinicians. We have an international reputation for developing research methodologies to ensure that research findings have a positive impact on clinical practice.
Our department is home to 11 of the National Institute for Health Research's 200 most prestigious and prominent researchers. These NIHR Senior Investigators contribute significantly to the health sciences as senior leaders, demonstrate research excellence and lead in training of the NIHR's people.
learn in our thriving academic environment
We teach elements of the undergraduate programme in medicine including arranging placements for medical students in GP practices. Our teaching is consistently ranked very highly by Oxford undergraduates. We also provide a highly supportive environment for postgraduates whether they are registered for a DPhil, enrolled on one of our short courses or the Evidence Based Health Care programme. We welcome domestic and international students to join our experienced and enthusiastic teachers, mentors and supervisors in aspirational study and research.
How we make a difference
Our research is very quickly translated into improvements in patient care. In just the past 5 years our research has changed NICE clinical guidelines in many areas, including research that has identified early signs of serious illness in children, enhanced the diagnostic pathways for diabetes, heart failure and for hypertension, improved the recognition and treatment of stroke risk in atrial fibrillation, and altered health policy on smoking cessation to name but a few. To ensure our research is relevant and beneficial, we work closely with patient and public representatives.
staff and students working to develop new evidence and innovations in primary care.
GP practices taking years 4-6 medical students on their GP attachment.
patient and public representatives involved in shaping our projects.
primary care research themes. Find out more
Head of Department:
We are host to several important research centres:
- NIHR School for Primary Care Research
- Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine
- Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group
- NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley (NIHR ARC OxTV)
- NIHR Community Healthcare MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative
- Three themes of the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre
- Health Experiences Research Group, including the Healthtalk research programme www.healthtalk.org
- Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS) Group