Many of us rely on our local hospital, but how do we know if it's safe? Every year we expect our healthcare system to treat more patients with more problems and to ever higher standards. We clearly need useable information on performance. The NHS benefits from huge but complex databases, and it's my job to help doctors, managers and patients make sense of them.
On secondment to the public inquiry into the crimes of GP Harold Shipman, I investigated statistical methods that could have been used to spot Shipman earlier. I then combined these with my interest in risk adjustment and experience in handling national administrative data sets to devise the statistical methodology behind Dr Foster Intelligence’s widely used Real Time Monitoring tool. An early warning system of potential problems with care, it correctly identified Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust as having unacceptably high death rates and was a trigger for the national regulator to investigate. I have appeared on UK and Canadian radio to explain hospital performance measurement to the general public.
I teach study design, statistics and critical appraisal of literature on undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses. I also supervise and examine PhD students.
Potential research students interested in quantitative health services research are welcome to contact me informally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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