An update on the work of the Respiratory Infections Health Integration Team during 2015-16 from Professor Alastair Hay.
Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) place considerable pressure on health care services, particularly in the winter. Children play a major role in spreading these infections. However, parents often don’t have the information to know when and how best to access health services for common illnesses. A vicious cycle is created of increasing patient demand, higher antibiotic use and a reduction in antibiotic effectiveness. The Respiratory Infections Health Integration Team (RuBICoN HIT) aims to reduce the burden of respiratory infections on both the NHS and the community.
In March 2016, the TARGET programme concluded. This research was carried out by the Centre for Academic Primary Care and involved several members of the HIT. TARGET helped uncover why clinicians prescribe antibiotics, what parents want from a GP consultation and what interventions would help improve antibiotic use in primary care. We shared our findings at an implementation event in London in February. Attendees included national policy-makers, GPs and journalists.
All the videos from the event are at www.bristolhealthpartners.org.uk/target.
The study also produced a website for parents about caring for children with respiratory tract infection and cough (child-cough.bristol.ac.uk), developed with parents to provide a trusted repository of information about when to see the doctor, common symptoms, going to school or nursery, types of illness and caring for your child.
We have developed a short document for GPs of tips to reduce antibiotic prescriptions. It gives information about what patients want to know, and five suggestions of how doctors can help patients and carers manage common infections.
The bronchiectasis HOT clinic at North Bristol NHS Trust has continued to help patients get fast access to specialist care. The clinics were run as part of the ACCORD study. We are now analysing the data to ensure it helped achieve the aim of providing faster, more appropriate care that reduces hospital admissions.
Having been a HIT for three years, we’re now reflecting on our achievements and creating a new work-plan for 2016 onwards.