I am Professor of Primary Care and Public Health, and Head of the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London. I am also an NIHR Senior Investigator. I am the highest cited primary care researcher globally.
I qualified at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, Wales. I am accredited in both General Practice and Public Health Medicine. I began my academic career at St. George's Hospital Medical School as a Lecturer in Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine. I was later promoted to Senior Lecturer in Primary Care. I then moved to a Senior Lecturer post at University College London, where I had a joint appointment between the School of Public Policy and the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences. In 2000, I gained a five-year primary care senior scientist award, which allowed me to spend more time on research. I was promoted to Professor by University College London in 2002.
I took up the post of Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London in 2004. In the most recent UK University Research Excellence Framework results (published in 2022), Imperial College London was the highest ranked university in the UK for the quality of research in the “Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care” unit of assessment.
My research interests are in:
- chronic disease management, particularly diabetes & cardiovascular disorders
- health policy and the organisation and delivery of health care
- the use of information for policy, planning and research
- developing innovative methodologies for primary care and public health research using clinical and administrative databases
- the use of new technology to improve health care
You can view a list of my recent publications on the Publications Page. I also have an important role in postgraduate education and training in both general practice and public health at Imperial College. I am the Chairman of the Imperial College Master of Public Health (MPH) programme. I am a member of the Steering Group of the Imperial GP Specialty Training Programme, the first GP Training Programme in England to be based in a medical school.
I am also Director of the NIHR NW London Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) and Director of the NIHR London Research Design Service Team based at Imperial College. You can view my citation metrics using Google Scholar Citations. You can also view my Twitter Account for updates about my work.
I have an international role in public health and primary care through my position as Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training at Imperial College London. In this capacity, I have acted as an international adviser for WHO on areas such as health systems, universal coverage and primary care. I am also a member of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Collaboration, through which I contribute to research published in journals such as the Lancet.
I am a part-time general practitioner in the Clapham area of London, where I have worked since 1995. As a General Practitioner, I deal with all the typical medical, psychological and social problems that present in inner-city primary care. My clinical interests are in preventive healthcare, cardiovascular medicine, immunisation and infectious diseases. I have been running immunisation programmes for adults and children in my practice for over 20 years; and so I have great experience in the management, IT and logistical issues needed to deliver immunisation programmes; and also in speaking to people who have questions or concerns about vaccination.You can learn more about my practice by taking a look at its website, http://www.claphamhealth.nhs.uk/. You can read my two blogs at http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/medical-centre/ and http://www.medical-centre.blogspot.com/. I also contribute to the Department of Primary Care & Public Health Blog and the MPH Blog. I also publish updates on my work on Facebook. See also my Wikipedia Page.
Supporting the response to Covid-19
My department has supported the international, national and local response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, see: Implementation of Covid-19 vaccination in the United Kingdom. This also includes work with the World Health Organization (WHO) led by our WHO Collaborating Centre. We have also carried out work comparing the response to Covid-19 in the UK and South Korea, drawing important lessons on how best to control the pandemic. At national level, we have worked with NHS England to help protect the health of NHS staff through work on developing risk assessment frameworks. Locally, we work with our NHS partners to help specialist and primary care NHS services manage Covid-19. Other work includes international comparisons of excess mortality during the Covid-19 pandemic and discussion of the logistics of implementing a Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK, including addressing vaccine hesitancy. Our work also includes guidance for clinicians and patients on when and how to return to exercise after a Covid-19 infection. A list of my academic Covid-19 publications is available via Google Scholar.
Media and Advocacy Work
I have given many media interviews on Covid-19 for both television and radio stations. I also wrote my own articles in newspapers and provided expert commentary for other articles. Recent media coverage can be viewed on Google News. I have aimed to promote positive public health messages (for example on vaccination) throughout the pandemic. My department has a wide range of work on societal engagement; for example, working with local schools to support children from deprived backgrounds enter the health professions, addressing vaccine hesitancy, and improving confidence and uptake of vaccination in marginalised groups.
Public Health Experience
After completing my general practice training in South Wales, I undertook five years specialist training in public health in Gloucester and London. During this period, I passed the MFPH examination and obtained a CCST in Public Health.
In Gloucester, I spent over two years working in communicable diseases control; dealing with a number of outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis A. Meningitis and Tuberculosis. At Imperial College London, I was the Course Director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) course for 10 years. I am now the MPH Course Chairman. The MPH course includes modules on areas such as infectious diseases epidemiology, health protection and the management of outbreaks.
I am a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and an Honorary NHS Consultant in Public Health. I undertake public health duties in addition to my academic and clinical work. This includes local, national and international public health work; including work with the World Health Organization.
I currently hold honorary contracts as a public health consultant with NHS England, the UK Health Security Agency and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Working at the ONS
Before moving to Imperial College, I worked for several years at the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). In this role, I acquired considerable expertise in the analysis of data from health information systems, vital statistics, NHS databases and health surveys. I was a member of the Death Certification Advisory Group, and was frequently called upon to give advice about death certification to doctors, coroners, and registrars of births and deaths. I also led reviews for the Department of Health (primary care data) in 2002, and the Office for National Statistics (congenital anomaly surveillance system) in 2003. I served as a member of the Chief Medical Officer's Inter-Departmental Group on Public Health and the Advisory Group on the Use of ONS Data for Medical Research.
Enquiries from prospective PhD students are welcome in any of the research areas listed above or in related areas. Current and past PhD students have undertaken studies on a wide ranging selection of projects, including prescribing policy in Thailand, obesity management in Brunei, health care equity, deaths from drug overdose, the impact of pay for performance schemes on quality of care, ethnic and socio-economic differences in the management of diabetes and its complications, screening for diabetes and other chronic diseases, the use of new technology to improve health care, sickle cell disease, and medical ethics.
My Inaugural Lecture was held on 22 May 2006 with the theme "Using Primary Care Data for Epidemiological and Health Services Research". Please see the links to the Lecture below.
Inaugural Text and Inaugural Presentation
An Example of my Research
The figure below gives a key finding from one of my research articles. In this study, along with colleagues from the USA, Australia and New Zealand, I carried out a study of primary care practice in three countries. The figure shows annual exposure to primary care physicians in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. There are striking differences between the countries that may have important implications for the provision of effective health services.
et al., 2023, How can we improve the quality of data collected in general practice?, Bmj, Vol:380
et al., 2023, Differential attainment in specialty training recruitment in the United Kingdom: an observational analysis of the impact of psychometric testing assessment in Public Health postgraduate selection, Bmj Open, ISSN:2044-6055
et al., 2023, Twenty-year trajectories of cardio-metabolic factors among people with type 2 diabetes by dementia status in England: a retrospective cohort study., European Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN:0393-2990, Pages:1-12
et al., 2023, What needs to be done to address staffing shortages in health and social care?, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:73, ISSN:0960-1643, Pages:102-103
et al., 2023, Impact of COVID-19 vaccination on COVID-19 hospital admissions in England during 2021: an observational study., Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, ISSN:0141-0768