On 19th and 20th June, Fiona Togher and Viet-Hai Phung from CaHRU attended the annual Health Services Research Network Symposium (HSRN). Together, they presented three posters during the conference poster sessions entitled, ‘What do users value about the emergency ambulance service?‘, ‘Investigating the understanding, use and experiences of older people in Lincolnshire accessing emergency and urgent services via 999 and NHS 111: A scoping study‘ and ‘Systematic review: barriers and facilitators for people from minority ethnic groups accessing urgent and prehospital care‘. Another poster presented by Rachel O’Hara and Maxine Johnson entitled ‘A qualitative study of system influences on paramedic decision making and patient safety’ which included Prof Niro Siriwardena as a study collaborator won the prize for best overall poster. The posters described and explained the findings of streams of work that had been encompassed within CaHRU’s Pre-hospital Emergency Quality and Outcomes programme of research.
The multi-disciplinary conference programme consisted of several plenary talks as well as parallel sessions during which presenters talked about their research. There was a wide range of NHS and academic institutions represented at the event plus numerous influential leaders in healthcare research. The parallel session streams to choose from included; Urgent Care, Patient Experience, Systems/Organisational Change, Patient Data and Improvement Science amongst many others.
The Urgent Care session on the first day was attended by Fiona Togher. This consisted of four presentations entitled, ‘Explaining variation in avoidable emergency admissions’, ‘Features of primary care and their effect on unscheduled secondary care: a systematic review’, ‘Factors that influence patient choices about where to access care in an emergency: a qualitative enquiry, ‘Why Frail Older People end up in A&E: The Patient Journey as told by Older People’.
Key learning points included: variation in emergency admissions within different hospitals and trusts is not ‘real’ but due to differing coding processes; if patients do not have a ‘regular’ GP this can increase accident & emergency (A&E) department use; communities need more visible information about alternatives to A&E – access details, location & opening hours; and 99% of frail older people that were taken to hospital during the course of a study were English speaking which contradicts the notion of migrant pressure.
The Patient Experience session on day one was attended by Viet-Hai Phung. The four presentations were entitled: ‘Does the availability of a South Asian language in GP practices improve reports of doctor-patient communication from South Asian patients?’, ‘Treatment outcomes in Schizophrenia: the views of patients and carers’, ‘An evaluation of interventions to support the emotional and psychological needs of patients with end-stage renal disease’, and ‘One size fits all? Acute hospital inpatient experiences of multi-bed and single room accommodation’.
Some of these themes will inform CaHRU’s work on ethnicity and patient experiences. On the second day, there was a very informative plenary presentation from Simon Denegri from INVOLVE about the extent to which the public should be involved in health service research. This presentation was very timely, given our work on patient-public involvement in PhOEBE and other studies. Attendance at the conference was informative, interesting and a good opportunity to inform colleagues from other academic institutions and health care organisations about the research that is being undertaken in the Community & Health Research Unit at the University of Lincoln.
Fiona Togher and Viet-Hai Phung