Primary Care, Epidemiology, and Health Care Delivery
This is a broad theme incorporating primary health care, population health, and delivery of health care. Oxford's Department of Primary Care Health Sciences was rated top in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
Researchers in Oxford, particularly in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, provide the evidence-base to underpin primary care practice, particularly the prevention and care of cardiovascular disease (heart disease, diabetes and stroke), infection and diseases of childhood. There is strong methodological focus including evidence-based medicine, monitoring, diagnosis and self-monitoring of long-term illness. The Department of Primary Care Health Sciences hosts a UKCRC registered Clinical Trials Unit; the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group; the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and the Health Experiences Research Group and other clinical and health services oriented research groups.
A strong and distinctive focus of health research in Oxford is studying health at the population level. The Nuffield Department of Population Health has both a domestic and international focus on population health. This enables identification of the causes of, and risk factors for, disease, which informs strategies to promote health. Population health research also measures the cost effectiveness and social acceptability of care and services.
Research into health care delivery is becoming increasingly important as costs rise and the population ages. New technology should allow improvements in the quality and safety of patient care at reduced costs. The introduction of such changes, however, needs to be designed and tested in the same way as the introduction of a new drug, providing ample scope for research in the future. The Oxford Health Experiences Institute studies patient and public involvement in research, the patient experience, person centred care delivery, multi-morbidity and e-Health.
Within the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences several projects are underway to improve patient safety and, in a broader context, the Oxford Telemedicine Institute is redesigning patient pathways to take advantage of better information transfer.