I am a public health researcher and consultant with a particular interest in information and intelligence and chronic disease epidemiology. I completed a PhD degree at Imperial College London in 2010. My PhD research involved developing disease prevalence models at GP practice and small area level, their validation and case-finding methods, and the use of primary care data for estimating risk factor prevalences. These and other models are available on Public Health England's Fingertips website. I am also an expert advisor on public health and statistics to the Health & Social Care Information Centre, and a member of the Faculty of Public Health’s I&I Committee and the NHS Health Checks Expert Scientific & Clinical Advisory Panel.
After paediatric and public health training in New Zealand I worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Health, initially as Principal Medical Officer (Child Health), where I was responsible for the co-ordination of the NZ case-control study for risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which established the link between sleep position and SIDS, and the subsequent “back-to-sleep” health education programme, and which provided the evidence base for later substantial reductions in infant mortality worldwide. I then worked on strategic health policy including the development of commissioning, quality improvement and clinical governance.
In 1992 I moved to the UK to become Director of Public Health & Health Strategy, Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Health Authority. In this service post I gained ten years experience as an Executive Director and Board member. During this period I became interested and involved in the management of long term conditions, and monitoring progress through primary care information systems. I subsequently worked for NW London Strategic Health Authority and then from 2005 for the Department of Health, initially providing public health input to health inequalities policies.
My current research interests are:
- chronic disease prevalence modelling and epidemiology in small populations
- health service evaluation with a particular focus on primary health care services and pathways to and through healthcare
- patient-reported outcome measures and their use for commissioning and clinical intervention thresholds
- cardiovascular risk measurement and reduction in local populations
- use of primary care
- data to monitor local risk factor prevalences
et al., 2021, Blood biomarkers to detect new-onset atrial fibrillation and cardioembolism in ischemic stroke patients, Heart Rhythm, Vol:18, ISSN:1547-5271, Pages:855-861
et al., 2021, A Comparative Study of International and Asian Criteria for Overweight or Obesity at Workplaces in Singapore, Asia-pacific Journal of Public Health, Vol:33, ISSN:1010-5395, Pages:404-410
Soljak M, 2021, Occupation is still an important health determinant., Bmj, Vol:372
et al., 2020, Prevalence and attributable health burden of chronic respiratory diseases, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol:8, ISSN:2213-2600, Pages:585-596
et al., 2019, Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its associated work-related factors among indoor workers in a multi-ethnic Southeast Asian Country, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol:17, ISSN:1660-4601