• Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of three alternative compression systems used in the management of venous leg ulcers

      Guest, J.F.; Gerrish, A.; Ayoub, N.; Vowden, Kath; Vowden, Peter (2015)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of using a two-layer cohesive compression bandage (TLCCB; Coban 2) compared with a two-layer compression system (TLCS; Ktwo) and a four-layer compression system (FLCS; Profore) in treating venous leg ulcers (VLUs) in clinical practice in the UK, from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS). METHOD: This was a retrospective analysis of the case records of VLU patients, randomly extracted from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database (a nationally representative database of clinical practice among patients registered with general practitioners in the UK), who were treated with either TLCCB (n=250), TLCS (n=250) or FLCS (n=175). Clinical outcomes and health-care resource use (and costs) over six months after starting treatment with each compression system were estimated. Differences in outcomes and resource use between treatments were adjusted for differences in baseline covariates. RESULTS: Patients' mean age was 75 years old and 57% were female. The mean time with a VLU was 6-7 months and the mean initial wound size was 77-85 cm2. The overall VLU healing rate, irrespective of bandage type, was 44% over the six months' study period. In the TLCCB group, 51% of wounds had healed by six months compared with 40% (p=0.03) and 28% (p=0.001) in the TLCS and FLCS groups, respectively. The mean time to healing was 2.5 months. Patients in the TLCCB group experienced better health-related quality of life (HRQoL) over six months (0.374 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) per patient), compared with the TLCS (0.368 QALYs per patient) and FLCS (0.353 QALYs per patient). The mean six-monthly NHS management cost was pound2,413, pound2,707 and pound2,648 per patient in the TLCCB, TLCS and FLCS groups, respectively. CONCLUSION: Despite the systems studied reporting similar compression levels when tested in controlled studies, real-world evidence demonstrates that initiating treatment with TLCCB, compared with the other two compression systems, affords a more cost-effective use of NHS-funded resources in clinical practice, since it resulted in an increased healing rate, better HRQoL and a reduction in NHS management cost. The evidence also highlighted the lack of continuity between clinicians managing a wound, the inconsistent nature of the administered treatments and the lack of specialist involvement, all of which may impact on healing. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: This study was supported by an unrestricted research grant from 3M Health Care, UK. 3M Health Care had no influence on the study design, the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, or on the writing of, and decision to submit for publication, the manuscript.
    • Diagnostic radiographer advanced clinical practice in the United Kingdom - A national cross-sectional survey

      Woznitza, N.; Pittock, L.; Elliott, J.; Snaith, Beverly (2021-07-28)
      To survey the diagnostic radiography workforce in the United Kingdom (UK) at an organisational level to ascertain the scope of advanced practice and compliance with Health Education England standards for multiprofessional advanced clinical practice (ACP). 174 diagnostic imaging departments were invited to participate in a cross-sectional electronic survey focused upon advanced level practice and their educational and accreditation expectations (October-December 2019). Breast imaging, computed tomography, fluoroscopy, interventional radiology, lithotripsy, magnetic resonance imaging and projectional radiography were included. A total of 97 responses were received, of which 79 were eligible for inclusion (45%). Respondents reported advanced-level practice roles across all imaging modalities, which included clinical reporting, procedural-based and combined roles. Radiograph and mammogram reporting were most prevalent (95 and 67% of Trusts), with fluoroscopy the most frequent procedure-only role (25%). Only 39% of trusts required adherence to the four pillars of ACP within job descriptions, and only 12% requiring a full Masters qualification. Diagnostic radiographer reporting and procedure-based roles in the NHS are varied and widespread. However, inconsistencies in fulfilment against the expected standards for advanced practice exist. Realignment of advanced-level roles to delineate enhanced and advanced clinical practice may ensure consistency between roles and professions. A requirement for accreditation as an advanced (clinical) practitioner with adherence to advanced practice requirements could therefore provide value to accreditation for both individual practitioners and Trusts. Within the UK, diagnostic radiographer roles previously self-identified as advanced-level practice may be termed enhanced practice when not adhering to expected ACP standards.
    • The end of the road? CPD in the NHS

      McIntosh, Bryan; Hart, Andrew (2016-12-06)
      This article considers how cuts in Government funding will affect continuing professional development and mentorship training for NHS staff
    • Introducing physically active lessons in UK secondary schools: feasibility study and pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial

      Gammon, C.; Morton, K.; Atkin, A.; Corder, K.; Daly-Smith, Andrew; Quarmby, T.; Suhrcke, M.; Turner, D.; van Sluijs, E. (2019-05)
      Assess feasibility, acceptability and costs of delivering a physically active lessons (PAL) training programme to secondary school teachers and explore preliminary effectiveness for reducing pupils' sedentary time. Secondary schools in East England; one school participated in a pre-post feasibility study, two in a pilot cluster-randomised controlled trial. In the pilot trial, blinding to group assignment was not possible. Across studies, 321 randomly selected students (51% male; mean age: 12.9 years), 78 teachers (35% male) and 2 assistant head teachers enrolled; 296 (92%) students, 69 (88%) teachers and 2 assistant head teachers completed the studies. PAL training was delivered to teachers over two after-school sessions. Teachers were made aware of how to integrate movement into lessons; strategies included students collecting data from the environment for class activities and completing activities posted on classroom walls, instead of sitting at desks. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected to assess feasibility and acceptability of PAL training and delivery. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and ~8 weeks post-training; measures included accelerometer-assessed activity, self-reported well-being and observations of time-on-task. Process evaluation was conducted at follow-up. In the feasibility study, teachers reported good acceptability of PAL training and mixed experiences of delivering PAL. In the pilot study, teachers' acceptability of training was lower and teachers identified aspects of the training in need of review, including the outdoor PAL training and learning challenge of PAL strategies. In both studies, students and assistant head teachers reported good acceptability of the intervention. Preliminary effectiveness for reducing students' sedentary time was not demonstrated in either study. No evidence of preliminary effectiveness on the primary outcome and mixed reports of teachers' acceptability of PAL training suggest the need to review the training. The results do not support continuation of research with the current intervention. ISRCTN38409550.
    • Sex and age differences in attitudes and intention to adopt personalised nutrition in a UK sample

      Stewart-Knox, Barbara; Poinhos, R.; Fischer, A.R.H.; Chaudhrey, M.; Rankin, A. (2022)
      There has been an increase in development of technologies that can deliver personalised dietary advice. Devising healthy, sustainable dietary plans will mean taking consideration of extrinsic factors such as individual social circumstances. The aim of this study was to identify societal groups more or less receptive to and likely to engage with digitally delivered personalised nutrition initiatives. Sample and Methods: Volunteers were recruited via a social research agency from within the UK. The resultant sample (N=1061) was 49% female, aged 18-65 years. Results: MANOVA (Tukey HSD applied) indicated that females and younger people (aged 18-29 years) had more favourable attitudes and were more likely to intend to adopt personalised nutrition. There were no differences in attitude toward or intention to adopt personalised nutrition between different education levels, income brackets or occupational groups. Conclusion: These results imply that females and younger people may be most likely to adopt personalised nutrition in the future. Initiatives to promote personalised nutrition should target males and older people.
    • Six mechanisms behind carer wellbeing effects: A qualitative study of healthcare delivery

      Al-Janabi, H.; McLoughlin, C.; Oyebode, Jan R.; Efstathiou, N.; Calvert, M. (2019-08)
      Health and care services for patients may improve or harm the wellbeing of their family carers. Formal consideration of these effects (also known as spillovers) in decision-making is advocated, but, to date, little is known about how they occur. This paper presents the first empirical study to determine the mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing. The study focused on three major health conditions: dementia, stroke, and mental health. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 49 purposefully sampled care professionals and family carers in the UK between December 2016 and September 2017. Transcripts were coded and analysed thematically, using descriptive accounts and an explanatory account. The analysis generated six over-arching mechanisms by which health and care services affect family carers' wellbeing, through: (i) information (degree to which service delivery informs and trains family carers); (ii) management of care (shifts of responsibility for care between formal and family sectors); (iii) patient outcomes (services changing patient outcomes); (iv) alienation (feelings of alienation or inclusion created by service delivery); (v) compliance (barriers to patients complying and engaging with services); and (vi) timing or location (changes in the timing or location of services). Each mechanism was associated with sub-themes relating to both positive and negative spillovers on the family carers. The six mechanisms can be summarised with the mnemonic ‘IMPACT’. The IMPACT mechanisms may be useful in designing and evaluating services to optimise the wellbeing of carers as well as patients.
    • Strategies for assessing renal function prior to outpatient contrast-enhanced CT: a UK survey

      Harris, Martine A.; Snaith, Beverly; Clarke, R. (2016)
      The purpose of this paper is to identify current UK screening practices prior to contrast-enhanced CT. To determine the patient management strategies to minimize the risk of contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) risk in outpatients. An invitation to complete an electronic survey was distributed to the CT managers of 174 UK adult National Health Service hospital trusts. The survey included questions related to local protocols and national guidance on which these are based. Details of the assessment of renal function prior to imaging and thresholds for contrast contraindication and patient management were also sought. A response rate of 47.1% was received. Almost all sites had a policy in place for contrast administration (n = 80/82; 97.6%). The majority of sites require a blood test on outpatients undergoing a contrast-enhanced CT scan (n = 75/82; 91.5%); however, some (15/75; 20.0%) sites only check the result in patients at high risk and a small number (7/82; 8.5%) of sites indicated that it was a referrer responsibility. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or serum creatinine (SCr) result threshold at which i.v. contrast was contraindicated varied and 19 different threshold levels of eGFR or SCr were identified, each leading to different prophylactic strategies. Inconsistency was noted in the provision of follow-up blood tests after contrast administration. The wide variation in practice reflects inconsistencies in published guidance. Evidence-based consensuses of which patients to test and subsequent risk thresholds will aid clinicians identify those patients in which the risk of CI-AKI is clinically significant but manageable. There is also a need to determine the value of the various prophylactic strategies, follow-up regimen and efficient service delivery pathways. This survey has identified that further work is required to define which patients are high risk, confirm those which require renal function testing prior to contrast administration and how best to manage patients at risk of CI-AKI. The role of new technologies within this service delivery pathway requires further investigation.
    • The use of biomedicine, complementary and alternative medicine, and ethnomedicine for the treatment of epilepsy among people of South Asian origin in the UK

      Rhodes, P.J.; Small, Neil A.; Wright, J.; Ismail, Hanif (2008)
      Studies have shown that a significant proportion of people with epilepsy use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM use is known to vary between different ethnic groups and cultural contexts; however, little attention has been devoted to inter-ethnic differences within the UK population. We studied the use of biomedicine, complementary and alternative medicine, and ethnomedicine in a sample of people with epilepsy of South Asian origin living in the north of England. Interviews were conducted with 30 people of South Asian origin and 16 carers drawn from a sampling frame of patients over 18 years old with epilepsy, compiled from epilepsy registers and hospital databases. All interviews were tape-recorded, translated if required and transcribed. A framework approach was adopted to analyse the data. All those interviewed were taking conventional anti-epileptic drugs. Most had also sought help from traditional South Asian practitioners, but only two people had tried conventional CAM. Decisions to consult a traditional healer were taken by families rather than by individuals with epilepsy. Those who made the decision to consult a traditional healer were usually older family members and their motivations and perceptions of safety and efficacy often differed from those of the recipients of the treatment. No-one had discussed the use of traditional therapies with their doctor. The patterns observed in the UK mirrored those reported among people with epilepsy in India and Pakistan. The health care-seeking behaviour of study participants, although mainly confined within the ethnomedicine sector, shared much in common with that of people who use global CAM. The appeal of traditional therapies lay in their religious and moral legitimacy within the South Asian community, especially to the older generation who were disproportionately influential in the determination of treatment choices. As a second generation made up of people of Pakistani origin born in the UK reach the age when they are the influential decision makers in their families, resort to traditional therapies may decline. People had long experience of navigating plural systems of health care and avoided potential conflict by maintaining strict separation between different sectors. Health care practitioners need to approach these issues with sensitivity and to regard traditional healers as potential allies, rather than competitors or quacks.