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  • Disease prevention and diagnosis

    The core aim of preventive medicine is to ensure that premature death or major disease events, routinely defined as death before the age of 65, is uncommon and that morbidity in the population is minimized. Services to prevent disease are among the most important and potentially cost-effective provided by the NHS and most preventive strategies are provided in primary care. Their content and delivery needs to be underpinned by a firm evidence base. However, a remarkably low proportion of medical research expenditure in many countries including the UK is committed to prevention research, hence the focus for the SPCR – prevention is a key NHS priority but the evidence base is limited by under-investment.

  • Non-communicable disease, multi-morbidity and ageing

    Managing long-term illness is an important and increasingly costly element of health care, accounting for a high proportion of the work in primary care. The GP QOF contract reflects this activity, with the majority of clinical indicators relating to monitoring and management of long-term conditions. Despite recent improvements in quality of care, there are major unanswered questions about how long-term conditions should be monitored and managed, and some of these questions have substantial cost implications for the NHS. The SPCR has developed or tested potential technologies covering better monitoring and management in primary care to improve the quality of care which patients receive, such as BNP guided treatment in heart failure. A potential example for study is the safety and effectiveness of long-term drug therapy for control of symptoms such as chronic pain, a growing challenge to primary care which draws together research interests across the School.

  • Acute care

    Despite the increased recognition of the impact of multi-morbidity in an expanding elderly population, acute care remains a high importance area for all healthcare systems and the NHS. Infection is a major cause of acute workload and the SPCR continues to have a significant focus on the better elucidation and treatment of common infections, with work on validated clinical decision rules and antibiotic outcomes. Our programme also investigates the highly topical area of antibiotic resistance and appropriate use.

  • Organisation and delivery of care

    The Department of Health is committed to patient centred care and therefore to giving reliable and timely health information to the public and patients. However, this laudable aim is not straightforward. Traditional health information has been based on facts and figures, not the experiences of patients. Many different types of information on Patient Experiences are available online in health information sites, social networking, reputation systems (an approach borrowed from e-commerce) and online support groups. Patient Experiences may support and inform people but equally people may make poor decisions if they identify with powerful stories that are not relevant to their circumstances. The key aim is to ensure the research findings impact on care quality and this is done in two ways – a direct public access website ( and through direct contact with NHS agencies, particularly NHS Choices.

  • Research innovation & new technologies

    This theme develops new methods and tools to conduct research in primary care. The programme contributes to the further development of clinical trial methodology for complex interventions.

  • CA

  • CA

  • CA

  • GPP