Category: Health policy

How health and voluntary sector services can work together collaboratively to improve health and wellbeing in later life

By IGHI guest blogger, Chris Bird, PG student in the Centre for Health Policy and Project Manager in the System Engagement Programme at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

In today’s fast moving world, we need to constantly adapt to keep up. But what about those people in later life who might struggle to do so?

We live in a world where society is ageing. Falling mortality rates, particularly in the over 65-year age group coupled with low fertility rates in the younger population are leading to a society which is growing older[i].It is also true that conventional care delivery is often based around admittance to institutionalised hospital care which is both costly and can be inefficient as professionals, bound by silo working, fail to achieve either best value or best care for patients[ii].

Women in Surgery Sticking Together

By Saniya Mediratta, President of the ICSM Surgical Society

It seems strange to me, that when women have shattered the proverbial glass ceiling in innumerable fields, the statistics of women in surgery are still so low. At an astonishing 11.1%, the only heartening news is that it was once as low as 3% in 1991.

Why isn’t the field of surgery evolving with the current shift in workplace demographics? Why aren’t women choosing to pursue the seemingly impossible journey that is surgical training?

Why are so few of us women, studying medicine, not drawn to a career that inspires such awe, pride and prestige in the single word, “surgeon?”

Disability perspectives locally and globally: The journey travelled, and ‎the journey still to happen

By Kalpna Mistry, Staff Networks Coordinator, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre at Imperial College London 

In the UK the law protects the rights of disabled people, for instance the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which gave way to the Equality Act 2010 describes disability as a protected characteristic. It places the responsibility on service providers and employers to provide a discrimination-free service or make reasonable adjustments in the workplace. So, where 30 years ago if a wheelchair user could not access the cinema due to steps leading to the entrance or there being no wheelchair access in the screening room, the cinema had no obligation to do anything about it.

Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation: Making the connections

The diffusion or spread of innovations over time through a specific population or social system is important to unlock the potential benefits of an innovation. There has been much study of how to encourage the uptake of innovations so that they become part of everyday practice and benefit many, rather than a few. In this research, we explore this from the demand side. This report, ‘Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation: Making the connections’, which is to be discussed this morning at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) looks at how frontline health workers (FHWs) and leaders find solutions to their everyday challenges, and which sources are the most influential.

Applying behavioral insights: simple ways to improve health outcomes

Much of the global burden of disease arises from unhealthy behaviors, which people struggle to change even if they have the awareness, intention and ability to do so.

The new report ‘Applying behavioral insights: simple ways to improve health outcomes’ will be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).

The Behavioral Insights Forum will present groundbreaking, evidence-based research showing how citizens’ health can be improved through a better understanding and application of the latest research. Led by a UK government-owned social purpose company, The Behavioral Insights Team, this research studies the factors that influence human behavior thereby producing evidence that can prove vital to improving the health of populations.

No time to let our guard down: Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016

By Dr Enrique Castro Sanchez and Dr Bryony Dean Franklin, Centre for Patient Safety and Translational Research (PSTRC), Imperial College London

In the last few months we have seen increased attention and alliances around the world to develop interventions to address the challenge presented by drug-resistant infections. For example, a landmark declaration at the United Nations General Assembly on the matter of Antimicrobial Resistance was signed by 193 countries, providing a historic opportunity for experts, governments and citizens to collaborate on a global response to this worldwide threat to patient safety. Only the fourth time in history that a health topic had been at the centre of attention at the UN, the meeting supported  commitment of adequate resources to guarantee a much needed sustained and robust response.

Practitioner and patient-targeted interventions to address excessive antibiotic use

By Dr Olga KostopoulouReader in Medical Decision Making and Professor Brendan DelaneyChair in Medical Informatics and Decision Making at Imperial College London 

Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is high on policy agendas internationally. One of the key means advocated is judicious antibiotic prescribing. Over 80% of all NHS antibiotic prescriptions are issued in primary care, where despite numerous campaigns, mandates and financial incentives, rates have fallen only slightly in the past year. Acute respiratory infections and associated complications, such as pneumonia, are the commonest justification for primary care antibiotic use, despite strong evidence of small to modest symptomatic benefits.

What is the role of social media in health policy?

By Sabine Vuik, Policy Fellow and Head of Analytics, Centre for Health Policy, Institute of Global Health Innovation

Big data and advanced data mining methods are becoming a crucial element of everyday life, business and research. The new insights that these methods can provide have allowed many different industries to find new opportunities, products and markets.

The new EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare which will launch on Wednesday 23rd November, aims to bring these methods into healthcare.

Precision Healthcare uses big data and mathematics to provide unprecedented insights into individual and population health.  The Centre will link up mathematical, computational and medical departments from Imperial, to bridge traditional silos and drive innovation in this area.

Director for the BDAU interviews the founder of the Open Data Science Conference in London

By Joshua Symons, Policy Fellow, Big Data & Analytical Unit, Centre for Health Policy  

On the 8th and 9th October, I had the opportunity to attend the Open Data Science Conference in London. In addition to the United Kingdom, the ODSC also occurs on both the East and West Coast of the US, as well as Tokyo. The 2-day conference had an array of speakers presenting problems and solutions they have worked on as data scientists. It was an opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the field of data science such as Gael Varoquaux. Gael is a core contributor to the popular Python machine learning resource scikit-learn and he spoke about the new and existing features of this package which help ensure rapid development in data science.