In the midst of a global pandemic, our people are continuing their endeavour to improve health and care. In this new series, we’re speaking to our IGHI community to find out how they’re adapting to working life amid coronavirus, and the unique opportunities and challenges this has presented them.
Right now, we’ve never been more grateful for the health and care workers who are tirelessly demonstrating their dedication to our health and wellbeing.
Supporting our health system, too, are many unsung heroes working away from the frontline. People who may have hung up their stethoscopes, but with the same determination to improve health and care.
We caught up with Jack and Natalia to find out about their careers post-medicine, how they’re applying what they learnt in medical school, and what the COVID-19 crisis means for their roles.
In a matter of mere months, a new virus has completely changed the world. In the trail of destruction that coronavirus is causing, it has rudely propelled many of us into a new way of working.
Offices have closed, laboratories shut their doors, classrooms and lecture theatres emptied. But the world has not ground to a halt – the show must go on. At IGHI, our researchers are continuing their endeavour to improve health and care. In this new series, find out how our people are adapting to working life amid coronavirus, and the unique opportunities and challenges this has presented them.
It was Christmas time three years ago when Amy experienced a stroke. Amy was enjoying her retirement, having spent her career working in publishing. But the stroke took away her independence, paralysing her left arm such that she needed full-time care. This isn’t an uncommon outcome: some 80% of people experience difficulty using their arms after a stroke.
Amy spent the next four months in hospital, the beginning of a long road to recovery.
“The rehabilitation I received in hospital mainly focused on walking, but it was my hand that I really needed help with,” she says.
“And I wasn’t told that if I didn’t use my hand that I would lose function of it.”
Cancer survival is improving and today, half of people diagnosed will survive their disease. This is thanks to research. Research that’s guiding governments to change their policies, underpinning awareness campaigns and educational initiatives, turning discoveries into treatments and prevention measures.
But there’s still much to be done to help more people survive, by catching the disease earlier and developing better treatments.
This World Cancer Day, and as part of our celebrations to mark IGHI’s 10th anniversary this year, find out how our researchers are working to make that happen. Join us in exploring some of our projects that could lead to better detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
People complain for a variety of reasons. But international evidence consistently finds that most people complain to prevent incidents from happening to others – they want to see change as a result, when they feel something isn’t right. Making a complaint can therefore be an empowering process, if people know – or feel – that their actions could make a difference.
Dealing with complaints is an important learning process for those that the complaint is directed against, but also the institution more widely. They can highlight problems that may have otherwise slipped through the net, prompting action that can prevent the same mistakes happening again and affecting more people.
Taking medicines is the most common way that we attempt to stave off or treat illness. Every day people all across the world use medicines to help improve their health and wellbeing. They’ve transformed the treatment and outlook for many diseases, helping people live longer and healthier lives. Yet medicines are also a major risk to patients’ safety. And this risk is not only a result of drugs’ side effects.
Mistakes in the treatment process can also lead to patient harm. Errors can happen at any stage of the pathway; when professionals prescribe, dispense and administer drugs. In England alone, it’s estimated that over 230 million such errors occur every year, causing hundreds of deaths and contributing to thousands more.
Our National Health Service owns some of the most comprehensive patient data sets across the globe. This makes these data a very valuable asset – not just as a springboard for improving health and care through learning from the data, but also in terms of the potential for financial return. It is critical that if the NHS shares this data with companies, in an appropriate and secure way, it also receives a fair share of this financial return.
These are arguments we make in a new article published in Lancet Digital Health.
As the year draws to a close, we look back at some of IGHI’s best moments over the past 12 months. From launching new trials to test out promising health innovations, to partnering for better mental health, our Institute has achieved many things we’re proud of.
Find out how our progress is leading us towards our ambition of transforming health and care for all.
Many will be wishing to discover an Xbox-shaped gift glittering under the Christmas tree this year. Aside from the seemingly endless hours of entertainment, joy, frustration and competition that these consoles offer, Xbox technology – and other similar gadgets – is finding uses outside of the gaming world, and in the healthcare research sphere.