Accidental injury: A neglected area within Primary Care Groups and Trusts?
Kendrick D., Groom L., Hippisley-Cox J., Savelyich BSP., Webber E., Coupland C.
Our objective was to assess accidental injury prevention activity within Primary Care Groups/Trusts (PCG/Ts), and current knowledge and attitudes towards accidental injuries and their prevention amongst PCG/T board members. We used a cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey design. Participants were board members of 51 PCG/Ts in Trent. The main outcome measures were prioritization of accidental injury prevention and factors influencing prioritization, perceptions of the accidental injury rates in the population served by the PCG/T, accidental injury prevention activity undertaken by the PCG/T, attitudes towards accidental injury prevention and towards the PCG/Ts involvement in accidental injury prevention, knowledge of accidental injury mortality, and beliefs in the effectiveness of interventions. Many (66%) PCG/T board members see accident prevention as the least important of the priority areas in the Government's health strategy for England. Half the PCG/Ts (49%) had formally discussed accidents at a PCG/T meeting, 34% had taken action and 29% had written an accident prevention strategy. The median number of agencies PCG/Ts were working with on accident prevention was 2. GPs held less positive attitudes about accident prevention than other board members (Z = -10.01, P < 0.001), but had a greater knowledge about injury mortality (Z = -3.92, P < 0.001). Health promotion leads had more positive attitudes towards accident prevention than other board members (Z = -3.70, P < 0.001). There were misconceptions amongst health promotion leads about the effectiveness of some accident prevention interventions. We conclude that there is little evidence of prioritization of accidents as an area for health improvement. Although some PCG/Ts are undertaking accidental injury prevention, a minority have demonstrated strategic planning with respect to accident prevention or collaboration with a wide range of agencies. Accident prevention and the PCG/Ts role within this are not viewed positively by all board members. Gaps in knowledge about accidents and their prevention are apparent. PCG/Ts will need help and support to fully develop their potential in preventing accidental injuries. © Oxford University Press 2002.