Many of us rely on our local hospital, but how do we know if it's safe? Or better than the other one down the road? 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.
After secondment to the public inquiry into the crimes of GP Harold Shipman, I devised the statistical methodology behind the flagship information tool of our commercial partners, Dr Foster. With my analysis, this tool correctly identified Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust as having unacceptably high death rates and was a trigger for the national regulator to investigate. My research today continues to measure and monitor the quality of healthcare in hospital and in the community for patients with chronic disease such as heart failure and COPD using databases such as HES and CPRD.
As a consultant, I train the UK public sector on statistical thinking and data analysis to improve staff effectiveness. I am leading the development of a set of Statistics in Public Health modules as MOOCs and as part of Imperial's forthcoming online MPH. Potential PhD students interested in quantitative health services research are welcome to contact me informally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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