Professor Sarah Purdy and Dr Peter Goyder, Directors of the Integration to Avoid Hospital Admissions Health Integration Team (ITHAcA HIT), give an update on the HIT's activities in 2018-19.
This year we have focused on our existing urgent care projects and how to ensure that this work is informed and used by our stakeholders. We currently have four active projects looking at different areas of the urgent care system.
The GPED study is led by Professor Jonathan Benger at the University West of England. This study is exploring the different models of care used across the country of general practitioners working in or alongside emergency departments. A mid-study dissemination meeting was held and supported by ITHAcA to discuss the early findings from the study and to involve stakeholders in shaping the final direction of the research. The meeting was attended by 50 commissioners, clinicians, researchers and patients from the local area, Plymouth and Oxford. Main findings are due in May 2020.
Our work with Dr Massimo Antognozzi in the Physics Department at the University of Bristol, developing a primary care device to rapidly detect antibiotic resistance in common bacteria, has progressed well and we are now applying for large scale funding. The spin off company formed from this work, Vitamica, is working with us to further develop the technology into an early prototype for use in a primary care setting. We have brought in design experts from Sheffield Hallam University to ensure that the prototype is co-designed with end users from the outset.
Using funding obtained from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) we have begun scoping work to explore the employment of paramedics within primary care teams. This involves talking to key informants and stakeholders to understand how paramedics are currently employed within primary care and the role they are fulfilling in delivering urgent care. This scoping work will be used to inform and design a realist evaluation to investigate how paramedics can be used most effectively within primary care teams. This study will be led by Drs Sarah Voss and Matthew Booker.
The TICKLISH study, which is supported by a Knowledge Mobilisation NIHR fellowship and led by Helen Baxter, will begin in May 2019 with final results available in 2022. This study is an exploration of the interactions between researchers and stakeholders in urgent care with an aim to understand how knowledge is shared and where and how this can lead to new knowledge being created. It is hoped if more can be understood about how these processes work, practical skills training can be developed to increase knowledge mobilisation capacity and sustainability.
Further plans for ITHAcA include increasing the involvement of public contributors in the work of the HIT, to identify future key areas of focus and current challenges in urgent care from the perspectives of patients and members of the public.