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1.  Impact of the urgent care telephone service NHS 111 pilot sites: a controlled before and after study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003451.
Objectives
To measure the impact of the urgent care telephone service NHS 111 on the emergency and urgent care system.
Design
Controlled before and after study using routine data.
Setting
Four pilot sites and three control sites covering a total population of 3.6 million in England, UK.
Participants and data
Routine data on 36 months of use of emergency ambulance service calls and incidents, emergency department attendances, urgent care contacts (general practice (GP) out of hours, walk in and urgent care centres) and calls to the telephone triage service NHS direct.
Intervention
NHS 111, a new 24 h 7 day a week telephone service for non-emergency health problems, operated by trained non-clinical call handlers with clinical support from nurse advisors, using NHS Pathways software to triage calls to different services and home care.
Main outcomes
Changes in use of emergency and urgent care services.
Results
NHS 111 triaged 277 163 calls in the first year of operation for a population of 1.8 million. There was no change overall in emergency ambulance calls, emergency department attendances or urgent care use. There was a 19.3% reduction in calls to NHS Direct (95% CI −24.6% to −14.0%) and a 2.9% increase in emergency ambulance incidents (95% CI 1.0% to 4.8%). There was an increase in activity overall in the emergency and urgent care system in each site ranging 4.7–12%/month and this remained when assuming that NHS 111 will eventually take all NHS Direct and GP out of hours calls.
Conclusions
In its first year of operation in four pilot sites NHS 111 did not deliver the expected system benefits of reducing calls to the 999 ambulance service or shifting patients to urgent rather than emergency care. There is potential that this type of service increases overall demand for urgent care.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003451
PMCID: PMC3831104  PMID: 24231457
ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MEDICINE
3.  Sorting patients: the weakest link in the emergency care system 
Need for an effective triage system in the NHS
doi:10.1136/emj.2006.038596
PMCID: PMC2658210  PMID: 17251606
4.  Health research funding: injuries were ignored 
Injury Prevention  2007;13(1):70.
doi:10.1136/ip.2006.013706
PMCID: PMC2610570  PMID: 17296695
research funding
5.  Treatment of Delayed/Nonunion of Scaphoid Waist with Synthes Cannulated Scaphoid Screw and Bone Graft 
Hand (New York, N.Y.)  2008;3(4):292-296.
Fracture of the scaphoid bone is the most common fracture of the carpus, and frequently, diagnosis is delayed. The unique anatomy and blood supply of the scaphoid itself predisposes to delayed union or nonunion. The Synthes scaphoid screw is a cannulated headed screw, which provides superior compression compared with some other devices used to internally fix scaphoid nonunions. Our aim was to conduct a retrospective study looking at the union rate, time to union, and complications and correlating the outcome of treatment against the delay between injury and surgery and location of the fracture within the bone. This study is a review of a cohort of 30 patients treated with a cannulated Synthes scaphoid screw and corticocancellous bone grafting for scaphoid waist delayed union and nonunion at our center. We achieved 86% overall union rate. The patients with delayed union achieved a 100% union rate. Three out of four patients with persistent nonunion after surgery reported no pain and improved function. The failure rate was 75% in patients who had sustained their fracture more than 5 years previously. Our study demonstrates that delayed union of scaphoid waist fractures and scaphoid waist nonunions present for less than 5 years can be successfully treated by fracture compression and bone grafting.
doi:10.1007/s11552-008-9112-4
PMCID: PMC2584213  PMID: 18780015
Scaphoid; Delayed union; Nonunion; Synthes scaphoid screw fixation; Bone graft
6.  The evolution of the emergency care practitioner role in England: experiences and impact 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2006;23(6):435-439.
Background
The emergency care practitioner (ECP) is a generic practitioner who combines extended nursing and paramedic skills. The "new" role emerged out of changing workforce initiatives intended to improve staff career opportunities in the National Health Service and ensure that patients' health needs are assessed appropriately.
Objective
To describe the development of ECP Schemes in 17 sites, identify criteria contributing to a successful operational framework, analyse routinely collected data and provide a preliminary estimate of costs.
Methods
There were three methods used: (a) a quantitative survey, comprising a questionnaire to project leaders in 17 sites, and analysis of data collected routinely; (b) qualitative interpretation based on telephone interviews in six sites; and (c) an economic costing study.
Results
Of 17 sites, 14 (82.5%) responded to the questionnaire. Most ECPs (77.4%) had trained as paramedics. Skills and competencies have been extended through educational programmes, training, and assessment. Routine data indicate that 54% of patient contacts with the ECP service did not require a referral to another health professional or use of emergency transport. In a subset of six sites, factors contributing to a successful operational framework were strategic visions crossing traditional organisational boundaries and appropriately skilled workforce integrating flexibly with existing services. Issues across all schemes were patient safety, appropriate clinical governance, and supervision and workforce issues. On the data available, the mean cost per ECP patient contact is £24.00, which is less than an ED contact of £55.00.
Conclusion
Indications are that the ECP schemes are moving forward in line with original objectives and could be having a significant impact on the emergency services workload.
doi:10.1136/emj.2005.027300
PMCID: PMC2564336  PMID: 16714501
emergency care practitioner; intermediate care; extended skills; avoided admission
7.  Prediction of mortality among emergency medical admissions 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2006;23(5):372-375.
Background
The Rapid Acute Physiology Score (RAPS) and Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS) are risk adjustment methods for emergency medical admissions developed for use in audit, research, and clinical practice. Each predicts in hospital mortality using four (RAPS) or six (REMS) variables that can be easily recorded at presentation. We aimed to evaluate the predictive value of REMS, RAPS, and their constituent variables.
Methods
Age, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) and oxygen saturation were recorded for 5583 patients who were transported by emergency ambulance, admitted to hospital and then followed up to determine in hospital mortality. The discriminant power of each variable, RAPS, and REMS were compared using the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AROCC). Multivariate analysis was used to identify which variables were independent predictors of mortality.
Results
REMS (AROCC 0.74; 95% CI 0.70 to 0.78) was superior to RAPS (AROCC 0.64; 95% CI 0.59 to 0.69) as a predictor of in hospital mortality. Although all the variables, except blood pressure, were associated with mortality, multivariate analysis showed that only age (odds ratio 1.74, p<0.001), GCS (2.10, p<0.001), and oxygen saturation (OR 1.36, p = 0.01) were independent predictors. A combination of age, oxygen saturation, and GCS (AROCC 0.80, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.83) was superior to REMS in our population.
Conclusion
REMS is a better predictor of mortality in emergency medical admissions than RAPS. Age, GCS, and oxygen saturation appear to be the most useful predictor variables. Inclusion of other variables in risk adjustment scores, particularly blood pressure, may reduce their value.
doi:10.1136/emj.2005.028522
PMCID: PMC2564087  PMID: 16627839
emergency care; risk stratification; mortality; prediction
8.  Effectiveness of measures to reduce emergency department waiting times: a natural experiment 
Objectives
To determine what measures were introduced by emergency departments in response to the national monitoring week in March 2003, and which, if any, of these were most effective in reducing waiting times.
Methods
A postal survey of all emergency departments in England was undertaken to gather data on measures taken. Department waiting times before, during, and after monitoring week were determined from data held by the Department of Health and linked to the survey data for analysis.
Results
A total of 111/198 responses (56%) were received. Departments had taken a wide range of measures to improve waiting times. The commonest were additional senior doctor hours (39%), creation of a “four hour monitor” role (37%), improved access to emergency beds (36%), additional non‐clinical staff hours (33%), additional junior doctor hours (32%), additional nursing hours (29%), and triage by senior staff (28%). In 35 departments (32%) no changes were made at all to usual practice. The biggest influence on improved performance during monitoring week was the number of measures that a department took, rather than any specific measure, although there was weak evidence that additional junior medical and non‐clinical staff time may have contributed more than other measures.
Conclusions
Improved waiting time performance may depend, at least in the short term, more on the amount of effort expended than on introducing a single effective change. In addition, those measures most likely to be helpful are likely also to require additional resources.
doi:10.1136/emj.2005.023788
PMCID: PMC2564124  PMID: 16373801
emergency departments; waiting times; service performance; targets
9.  The health care burden of acute chest pain 
Heart  2005;91(2):229-230.
doi:10.1136/hrt.2003.027599
PMCID: PMC1768669  PMID: 15657244
chest pain; acute coronary syndrome; emergency services
10.  Cost effectiveness of a community based exercise programme in over 65 year olds: cluster randomised trial 
Objective: To assess the cost effectiveness of a community based exercise programme as a population wide public health intervention for older adults.
Design: Pragmatic, cluster randomised community intervention trial.
Setting: 12 general practices in Sheffield; four randomly selected as intervention populations, and eight as control populations.
Participants: All those aged 65 and over in the least active four fifths of the population responding to a baseline survey. There were 2283 eligible participants from intervention practices and 4137 from control practices.
Intervention: Eligible subjects were invited to free locally held exercise classes, made available for two years.
Main outcome measures: All cause and exercise related cause specific mortality and hospital service use at two years, and health status assessed at baseline, one, and two years using the SF-36. A cost utility analysis was also undertaken.
Results: Twenty six per cent of the eligible intervention practice population attended one or more exercise sessions. There were no significant differences in mortality rates, survival times, or admissions. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, patients in intervention practices had a lower decline in health status, although this reached significance only for the energy dimension and two composite scores (p<0.05). The incremental average QALY gain of 0.011 per person in the intervention population resulted in an incremental cost per QALY ratio of €17 174 (95% CI = €8300 to €87 120).
Conclusions: Despite a low level of adherence to the exercise programme, there were significant gains in health related quality of life. The programme was more cost effective than many existing medical interventions, and would be practical for primary care commissioning agencies to implement.
doi:10.1136/jech.2003.014225
PMCID: PMC1732655  PMID: 15547060
11.  Results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of triage and direct transportation to minor injuries units by ambulance crews 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2004;21(1):105-111.
Methods: Ambulance crews in two services were asked to transport appropriate patients to MIU during randomly selected weeks of one year. During all other weeks they were to treat such patients according to normal practice. Patients were followed up through ambulance service, hospital and/or MIU records, and by postal questionnaire. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with crews (n = 15). Cases transferred from MIU to accident and emergency (A&E) were reviewed.
Results: 41 intervention cluster patients attended MIU, 303 attended A&E, 65 were not conveyed. Thirty seven control cluster patients attended MIU, 327 attended A&E, 61 stayed at scene. Because of low study design compliance, outcomes of patients taken to MIU were compared with those taken to A&E, adjusted for case mix. MIU patients were 7.2 times as likely to rate their care as excellent (95% CI 1.99 to 25.8). Ambulance service job-cycle time and time in unit were shorter for MIU patients (-7.8, 95% CI -11.5 to -4.1); (-222.7, 95%CI -331.9 to -123.5). Crews cited patient and operational factors as inhibiting MIU use; and location, service, patient choice, job-cycle time, and handover as encouraging their use. Of seven patients transferred by ambulance from MIU to A&E, medical reviewers judged that three had not met the protocol for conveyance to MIU. No patients were judged to have suffered adverse consequences.
Conclusions: MIUs were only used for a small proportion of eligible patients. When they were used, patients and the ambulance service benefited.
doi:10.1136/emj.2003.009050
PMCID: PMC1756342  PMID: 14734396
12.  Randomised controlled trial of a short course of traditional acupuncture compared with usual care for persistent non-specific low back pain 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;333(7569):623.
Objective To determine whether a short course of traditional acupuncture improves longer term outcomes for patients with persistent non-specific low back pain in primary care.
Design Pragmatic, open, randomised controlled trial.
Setting Three private acupuncture clinics and 18 general practices in York, England.
Participants 241 adults aged 18-65 with non-specific low back pain of 4-52 weeks' duration.
Interventions 10 individualised acupuncture treatments from one of six qualified acupuncturists (160 patients) or usual care only (81 patients).
Main outcome measures The primary outcome was SF-36 bodily pain, measured at 12 and 24 months. Other outcomes included reported use of analgesics, scores on the Oswestry pain disability index, safety, and patient satisfaction.
Results 39 general practitioners referred 289 patients of whom 241 were randomised. At 12 months average SF-36 pain scores increased by 33.2 to 64.0 in the acupuncture group and by 27.9 to 58.3 in the control group. Adjusting for baseline score and for any clustering by acupuncturist, the estimated intervention effect was 5.6 points (95% confidence interval -0.2 to 11.4) at 12 months (n = 213) and 8.0 points (2.8 to 13.2) at 24 months (n = 182). The magnitude of the difference between the groups was about 10%-15% of the final pain score in the control group. Functional disability was not improved. No serious or life threatening events were reported.
Conclusions Weak evidence was found of an effect of acupuncture on persistent non-specific low back pain at 12 months, but stronger evidence of a small benefit at 24 months. Referral to a qualified traditional acupuncturist for a short course of treatment seems safe and acceptable to patients with low back pain.
Trial registration ISRCTN80764175.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38878.907361.7C
PMCID: PMC1570824  PMID: 16980316
13.  NHS Direct: consistency of triage outcomes 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2003;20(3):289-292.
Methods: 119 scenarios were constructed based on calls to ambulance services that had been assigned the lowest priority category by the emergency medical dispatch systems in use. These scenarios were presented to nurses working in four NHS Direct call centres using different computerised decision support software, including the NHS Clinical Assessment System.
Results: The overall level of agreement between the nurses using the four systems was "fair" rather than "moderate" or "good" (κ=0.375, 95% CI: 0.34 to 0.41). For example, the proportion of calls triaged to accident and emergency departments varied from 22% (26 of 119) to 44% (53 of 119). Between 21% (25 of 119) and 31% (37 of 119) of these low priority ambulance calls were triaged back to the 999 ambulance service. No system had both high sensitivity and specificity for referral to accident and emergency services.
Conclusions: There were large differences in outcome between nurses using different software systems to triage the same calls. If the variation is primarily attributable to the software then standardising on a single system will obviously eliminate this. As the calls were originally made to ambulance services and given the lowest priority, this study also suggests that if, in the future, ambulance services pass such calls to NHS Direct then at least a fifth of these may be passed back unless greater sensitivity in the selection of calls can be achieved.
doi:10.1136/emj.20.3.289
PMCID: PMC1726079  PMID: 12748157
14.  Emergency nurse practitioners: a three part study in clinical and cost effectiveness 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2003;20(2):158-163.
Aims: To compare the clinical effectiveness and costs of minor injury services provided by nurse practitioners with minor injury care provided by an accident and emergency (A&E) department.
Methods: A three part prospective study in a city where an A&E department was closing and being replaced by a nurse led minor injury unit (MIU). The first part of the study took a sample of patients attending the A&E department. The second part of the study was a sample of patients from a nurse led MIU that had replaced the A&E department. In each of these samples the clinical effectiveness was judged by comparing the "gold standard" of a research assessment with the clinical assessment. Primary outcome measures were the number of errors in clinical assessment, treatment, and disposal. The third part of the study used routine data whose collection had been prospectively configured to assess the costs and cost consequences of both models of care.
Results: The minor injury unit produced a safe service where the total package of care was equal to or in some cases better than the A&E care. Significant process errors were made in 191 of 1447 (13.2%) patients treated by medical staff in the A&E department and 126 of 1313 (9.6%) of patients treated by nurse practitioners in the MIU. Very significant errors were rare (one error). Waiting times were much better at the MIU (mean MIU 19 minutes, A&E department 56.4 minutes). The revenue costs were greater in the MIU (MIU £41.1, A&E department £40.01) and there was a great difference in the rates of follow up and with the nurses referring 47% of patients for follow up and the A&E department referring only 27%. Thus the costs and cost consequences were greater for MIU care compared with A&E care (MIU £12.7 per minor injury case, A&E department £9.66 per minor injury case).
Conclusion: A nurse practitioner minor injury service can provide a safe and effective service for the treatment of minor injury. However, the costs of such a service are greater and there seems to be an increased use of outpatient services.
doi:10.1136/emj.20.2.158
PMCID: PMC1726060  PMID: 12642530
15.  Impact of NHS Direct on other services: the characteristics and origins of its nurses 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2002;19(4):337-340.
Method: A postal survey of NHS Direct nurses in all 17 NHS Direct call centres operating in June 2000.
Results: The response rate was 74% (682 of 920). In the three months immediately before joining NHS Direct, 20% (134 of 682, 95% confidence intervals 17% to 23%) of respondents had not been working in the NHS. Of the 540 who came from NHS nursing posts, one fifth had come from an accident and emergency department or minor injury unit (110 of 540), and one in seven from practice nursing (75 of 540). One in ten (65 of 681) nurses said that previous illness, injury, or disability had been an important reason for deciding to join NHS Direct. Sixty two per cent (404 of 649) of nurses felt their job satisfaction and work environment had improved since joining NHS Direct.
Conclusion: The NHS Direct nurse workforce currently constitutes a small proportion (about 0.5%) of all qualified nurses in the NHS, although it recruits relatively experienced and well qualified nurses more heavily from some specialties, such as accident and emergency nursing, than others. However, its overall impact on staffing in any one specialty is likely to be small. NHS Direct has succeeded in providing employment for some nurses who might otherwise be unable to continue in nursing because of disability.
doi:10.1136/emj.19.4.337
PMCID: PMC1725908  PMID: 12101154
16.  The acceptability of an emergency medical dispatch system to people who call 999 to request an ambulance 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2002;19(2):160-163.
Methods: Postal questionnaires to two systematic random samples of approximately 500 named callers to one ambulance service before, and one year after, the introduction of EMD.
Results: The response rate was 72% (355 of 493) before, and 63% (297 of 466) after, EMD. There was a reduction, from 81% (284 of 349) to 70% (200 of 286), in the proportion of callers who found all the questions asked by the call taker relevant, although this did not adversely affect the proportion of callers who were very satisfied with the 999 call, which increased from 78% (268 of 345) to 86% (247 of 287). The proportion of callers who reported receiving first aid advice increased from 7% (23 of 323) to 43% (117 of 272) and general information from 13% (41 of 315) to 58% (157 of 269). Satisfaction levels with the amount of advice given increased, while satisfaction with response times remained stable at 76% (254 of 320) very satisfied before and 78% (217 of 279) after EMD. The proportion of respondents very satisfied with the service in general increased from 71% (238 of 336) to 79% (220 of 277). There was evidence in respondents' written comments of two potential problems with EMD from the caller's viewpoint. Firstly, some callers were advised to take actions that were subsequently not needed; secondly, a small number of callers felt that the ambulance crew did not treat the situation as seriously as they would have liked.
Conclusions: Introducing EMD increases the amount of first aid and general advice given to callers, and satisfaction with these aspects of the service, while maintaining satisfaction with response times. Overall satisfaction with the service increased. However, some changes may be needed to prevent a small amount of dissatisfaction directly associated with EMD.
doi:10.1136/emj.19.2.160
PMCID: PMC1725824  PMID: 11904272
17.  Influence of evidence-based guidance on health policy and clinical practice in England 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2001;10(4):229-237.
Objectives—To examine the influence of evidence-based guidance on health care decisions, a study of the use of seven different sources and types of evidence-based guidance was carried out in senior health professionals in England with responsibilities either for directing and purchasing health care based in the health authorities, or providing clinical care to patients in trust hospitals or in primary care.
Design—Postal survey.
Setting—Three health settings: 46 health authorities, 162 acute and/or community trust hospitals, and 96 primary care groups in England.
Sample—566 subjects (46 directors of public health, 49 directors of purchasing, 375 clinical directors/consultants in hospitals, and 96 lead general practitioners).
Main outcome measures—Knowledge of selected evidence-based guidance, previous use ever, beliefs in quality, usefulness, and perceived influence on practice.
Results—A usable response rate of 73% (407/560) was achieved; 82% (334/407) of respondents had consulted at least one source of evidence-based guidance ever in the past. Professionals in the health authorities were much more likely to be aware of the evidence-based guidance and had consulted more sources (mean number of different guidelines consulted 4.3) than either the hospital consultants (mean 1.9) or GPs in primary care (mean 1.8). There was little variation in the belief that the evidence-based guidance was of "good quality", but respondents from the health authorities (87%) were significantly more likely than either hospital consultants (52%) or GPs (57%) to perceive that any of the specified evidence-based guidance had influenced a change of practice. Across all settings, the least used route to accessing evidence-based guidance was the Internet. For several sources an effect was observed between use ever, the health region where the health professional worked, and the region where the guidance was produced or published. This was evident for some national sources as well as in those initiatives produced locally with predominantly local distribution networks.
Conclusions—The evidence-based guidance specified was significantly more likely to be seen to have contributed to the decisions of public health specialists and commissioners than those of consultants in hospitals or of GPs in a primary care setting. Appropriate information support and dissemination systems that increase awareness, access, and use of evidence-based guidance at the clinical interface should be developed.
Key Words: evidence-based guidance; guidelines; evidence-based medicine
doi:10.1136/qhc.0100229..
PMCID: PMC1743459  PMID: 11743152
18.  Will alternative immediate care services reduce demands for non-urgent treatment at accident and emergency? 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2001;18(6):482-487.
Methods—A questionnaire survey and notes review of 267 adults presenting to the A&E department of a large teaching hospital in Sheffield, England, triaged to the two lowest priority treatment streams, was conducted over seven weeks. Using defined criteria, patients were classified by the suitability of the presenting health problem to be managed by alternative immediate care services or only by A&E, and also by the likelihood, in similar circumstances, of patients presenting to other services given their reasons for seeking A&E care.
Results—Full data were obtained for 96% of participants (255 of 267). Using objective criteria, it is estimated that 55% (95% CI 50%, 62%) of the health problems presented by a non-urgent population attending A&E are suitable for treatment in either general practice, or a minor injury unit, or a walk in centre or by self care after advice from NHS Direct. However, in almost one quarter (24%) of low priority patients who self referred, A&E was not the first contact with the health services for the presenting health problem. The reason for attending A&E cited most frequently by the patients was a belief that radiography was necessary. The reason given least often was seeking advice from a nurse practitioner. Taking into account the objective suitability of the health problem to be treated elsewhere, and the reasons for attending A&E given by the patients, it is estimated that, with similar health problems, as few as 7% (95% CI 3%, 10%) of the non-urgent A&E population may be expected to present to providers other than A&E in the future.
Conclusions—The increasing availability of alternative services offering first contact care for non-urgent health problems, is likely to have little impact on the demand for A&E services.
doi:10.1136/emj.18.6.482
PMCID: PMC1725697  PMID: 11696509
19.  Use of evidence based leaflets to promote informed choice in maternity care: randomised controlled trial in everyday practice 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2002;324(7338):643.
Objective
To assess the effect of leaflets on promoting informed choice in women using maternity services.
Design
Cluster trial, with maternity units randomised to use leaflets (intervention units) or offer usual care (control units). Data collected through postal questionnaires.
Setting
13 maternity units in Wales.
Participants
Four separate samples of women using maternity services. Antenatal samples: women reaching 28 weeks' gestation before (n=1386) and after (n=1778) the intervention. Postnatal samples: women at eight weeks after delivery before (n=1741) and after (n=1547) the intervention.
Intervention
Provision of 10 pairs of Informed Choice leaflets for service users and midwives and a training session for staff in their use.
Main outcome measures
Change in the proportion of women who reported exercising informed choice. Secondary outcomes: changes in women's knowledge; satisfaction with information, choice, and discussion; and possible consequences of informed choice.
Results
There was no change in the proportion of women who reported that they exercised informed choice in the intervention units compared with the control units for either antenatal or postnatal women. There was a small increase in satisfaction with information in the antenatal samples in the intervention units compared with the control units (odds ratio 1.40, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.88). Only three quarters of women in the intervention units reported being given at least one of the leaflets, indicating problems with the implementation of the intervention.
Conclusion
In everyday practice, evidence based leaflets were not effective in promoting informed choice in women using maternity services.
What is already known on this topicDecision aids can help patients to participate in their careTen evidence based leaflets (Informed Choice) are used by maternity services in the United Kingdom to promote informed choice in women using these servicesWhat this paper addsThe leaflets did not help to promote informed choice in maternity careDecision aids may not be effective in the real world
PMCID: PMC84396  PMID: 11895822
20.  Comparison between laser scanning tomography and computerised image analysis of the optic disc 
AIMS—To study the interchangeability of the measurements of the optic disc topography obtained by one computerised image analyser and one confocal laser tomographic scanner.
METHODS—One eye of 28 patients with glaucoma or glaucoma suspects was studied. All cases had simultaneous stereoscopic disc photographs taken with the fundus camera Topcon TRC-SS and optic disc examination with the Heidelberg retina tomograph (HRT) during the same visit. The optic disc photographs were digitised and analysed with the Topcon ImageNet (TI) system. Three variables of the optic disc topography provided by the TI and the HRT were compared—cup volume (CV), rim area (RA), and cup area to disc area ratio (CA/DA).
RESULTS—The mean values of CV and RA provided by the TI (0.52 (SD 0.32) mm3 and 1.58 (0.39) mm2, respectively) were greater (p<0.01) than the mean values of CV and RA determined by the HRT (0.32 (0.25) mm3, and 1.33 (0.47) mm2, respectively). The mean value of CA/DA provided by the TI (0.42 (0.14)) and the HRT (0.42 (0.18)) was similar (p=0.93). Correlation coefficients between measurements obtained by the two methods ranged from 0.53 to 0.73.
CONCLUSION—There was a significant discrepancy in the measurements of rim area and cup volume of the optic disc obtained by a computerised image analyser and a laser scanning tomograph.

 Keywords: optic disc; glaucoma; image analysis
PMCID: PMC1722972  PMID: 10365036
21.  Access to complementary medicine via general practice. 
BACKGROUND: The popularity of complementary medicine continues to be asserted by the professional associations and umbrella organisations of these therapies. Within conventional medicine there are also signs that attitudes towards some of the complementary therapies are changing. AIM: To describe the scale and scope of access to complementary therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic, homoeopathy, hypnotherapy, medical herbalism, and osteopathy) via general practice in England. DESIGN OF STUDY: A postal questionnaire sent to 1226 individual general practitioners (GPs) in a random cluster sample of GP partnerships in England. GPs received up to three reminders. SETTING: One in eight (1226) GP partnerships in England in 1995. METHOD: Postal questionnaire to assess estimates of the number of practices offering 'in-house' access to a range of complementary therapies or making National Health Service (NHS) referrals outside the practice; sources of funding for provision and variations by practice characteristics. RESULTS: A total of 964 GPs replied (78.6%). Of these, 760 provided detailed information. An estimated 39.5% (95% CI = 35%-43%) of GP partnerships in England provided access to some form of complementary therapy for their NHS patients. If all non-responding partnerships are assumed to be non-providers, the lowest possible estimate is 30.3%. An estimated 21.4% (95% CI = 19%-24%) were offering access via the provision of treatment by a member of the primary health care team, 6.1% (95% CI = 2%-10%) employed an 'independent' complementary therapist, and an estimated 24.6% of partnerships (95% CI = 21%-28%) had made NHS referrals for complementary therapies. The reported volume of provision within any individual service tended to be low. Acupuncture and homoeopathy were the most commonly available therapies. Patients made some payment for 25% of practice-based provision. Former fundholding practices were significantly more likely to offer complementary therapies than non-fundholding practices, (45% versus 36%, P = 0.02). Fundholding did not affect the range of therapies offered, and patients from former fundholding practices were no more likely to pay for treatment. CONCLUSION: Access to complementary health care for NHS patients was widespread in English general practices in 1995. This data suggests that a limited range of complementary therapies were acceptable to a large proportion of GPs. Fundholding clearly provided a mechanism for the provision of complementary therapies in primary care. Patterns of provision are likely to alter with the demise of fundholding and existing provision may significantly reduce unless the Primary Care Groups or Primary Care Trusts are prepared to support the 'levelling up' of some services.
PMCID: PMC1313895  PMID: 11271869
23.  Acetabular augmentation for the treatment of unstable total hip arthroplasties. 
Twenty-eight unstable total hip arthroplasties were treated with an acetabular augmentation wedge. Of the hips, 23 have had no further dislocations at a mean follow-up of 26 months. Five patients continued to dislocate and have needed further surgery. To our knowledge this is the largest reported series of acetabular augmentation with as good results as those of the most successful reported series of this technique, and a success rate comparable to other methods of treating recurrent dislocation. Careful patient selection, and using a thin augmentation wedge to avoid impingement, are important to the success of a technique which is a useful option in the management of recurrent dislocation.
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PMCID: PMC2503211  PMID: 10364973
24.  Can we prevent accidental injury to adolescents? A systematic review of the evidence. 
Injury Prevention  1995;1(4):249-255.
OBJECTIVES: As part of the Department of Health strategy The Health of the Nation, a systematic review of published and unpublished literature relating to the effectiveness of interventions in reducing accidental injury in the population aged 15-24 years was carried out. METHODS: The literature was reviewed under the standard setting headings of road, work, home, and sports and leisure, and graded for quality of evidence and strength of recommendation using a scale published in the UK national epidemiologically based needs assessment programme. RESULTS: The most effective measures appear to be legislative and regulatory controls in road, sport, and workplace settings. Environmental engineering measures on the road and in sports have relatively low implementation costs and result in fewer injuries at all ages. There is little evidence that purely educational measures reduced injuries in the short term. Community based approaches may be effective in all age groups, and incentives to encourage safer behaviour hold promise but require further evaluation. The potential of multifactorial approaches seems greater than narrowly based linear approaches. CONCLUSIONS: Few interventions to reduce injury in adolescents have been rigorously evaluated using good quality randomised controlled trials, and where such evidence is available, fewer have been shown to be definitely worthwhile. Many studies relied on surrogate measures rather than actual injury rates, and substantial issues relating to the efficacy or implementation of preventive measures in adolescent and young adult populations remain unresolved.
PMCID: PMC1067615  PMID: 9346041
25.  Effectiveness of a regional trauma system in reducing mortality from major trauma: before and after study. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1997;315(7119):1349-1354.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of the development of an experimental trauma centre and regional trauma system on the survival of patients with major trauma. DESIGN: Controlled before and after study examining outcomes between 1990 and 1993, spanning the introduction of the system in 1991-2. SETTING: Trauma centre in North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary and five associated district general hospitals in the North West Midlands regional trauma system, and two control regions in Lancashire and Humberside. SUBJECTS: All trauma patients taken by the ambulance services serving the regions or arriving other than by ambulance with injury severity scores > 15, whether or not they had vital signs on arrival at hospital. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Survival rates standardised for age, severity of injury, and revised trauma score. RESULTS: In 1990, 33% of major trauma patients in the experimental region were taken to the trauma centre, and by 1993 this had risen to only 39%. Crude death rates changed by the same amount in the control regions (46.5% in 1990-1 to 44.4% in 1992-3) as in the experimental region (44.8% to 41.3%). After standardisation, the estimated change in the probability of dying in the experimental region compared with the control regions was -0.8% per year (95% confidence interval -3.6% to 2.2%); for out of hours care, the change was 1.6% per year (-2.3% to 5.6%), and, for multiply injured patients, the change was -1.6% (-6.1% to 2.6%). CONCLUSION: Any reductions in mortality from regionalising major trauma care in shire areas of England would probably be modest compared with reports from the United States.
PMCID: PMC2127846  PMID: 9402777

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