Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

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    Contemporary women's secure psychiatric services in the United Kingdom: A qualitative analysis of staff views
    Walker, T ; Edge, D ; Shaw, J ; Wilson, H ; McNair, L ; Mitchell, H ; Gutridge, K ; Senior, J ; Sutton, M ; Meacock, R ; Abel, K (WILEY, 2017-11-01)
    WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Three pilot UK-only Women's Enhanced Medium Secure Services (WEMSS) was opened in 2007 to support women's movement from high secure care and provide a bespoke, women-only service. Evidence suggests that women's secure services are particularly challenging environments to work in and staffing issues (e.g., high turnover) can cause difficulties in establishing a therapeutic environment. Research in this area has focused on the experiences of service users. Studies which have examined staff views have focused on their feelings towards women in their care and the emotional burden of working in women's secure services. No papers have made a direct comparison between staff working in different services. WHAT DOES THIS STUDY ADD TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: This is the first study to explore the views and experiences of staff in the three UK WEMSS pilot services and contrast them with staff from women's medium secure services. Drawing upon data from eighteen semi-structured interviews (nine WEMSS, nine non-WEMSS), key themes cover staff perceptions of factors important for women's recovery and their views on operational aspects of services. This study extends our understanding of the experiences of staff working with women in secure care and bears relevance for staff working internationally, as well as in UK services. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: The study reveals the importance of induction and training for bank and agency staff working in women's secure services. Further, regular clinical supervision should be mandatory for all staff so they are adequately supported. ABSTRACT: Introduction Women's Enhanced Medium Secure Services (WEMSS) is bespoke, gender-sensitive services which opened in the UK in 2007 at three pilot sites. This study is the first of its kind to explore the experiences of WEMSS staff, directly comparing them to staff in a standard medium secure service for women. The literature to date has focused on the experiences of service users or staff views on working with women in secure care. Aim This qualitative study, embedded in a multimethod evaluation of WEMSS, aimed to explore the views and experiences of staff in WEMSS and comparator medium secure services. Methods Qualitative interviews took place with nine WEMSS staff and nine comparator medium secure staff. Interviews focused on factors important for recovery, barriers to facilitating recovery and operational aspects of the service. Discussion This study provides a rare insight into the perspectives of staff working in UK women's secure services, an under-researched area in the UK and internationally. Findings suggest that the success of services, including WEMSS, is compromised by operational factors such as the use of bank staff. Implications for practice Comprehensive training and supervision should be mandatory for all staff, so best practice is met and staff adequately supported.
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    Does paying service providers by results improve recovery outcomes for drug misusers in treatment in England?
    Jones, A ; Pierce, M ; Sutton, M ; Mason, T ; Millar, T (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
    AIM: To compare drug recovery outcomes in commissioning areas included in a 'payment by results' scheme with all other areas. DESIGN: Observational and data linkage study of the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System, Office for National Statistics mortality database and Police National Computer criminal records, for 2 years before and after introduction of the scheme. Pre-post controlled comparison compared outcomes in participating versus non-participating areas following adjustment for drug use, functioning and drug treatment status. SETTING: Drug services in England providing publicly funded, structured treatment. PARTICIPANTS: Adults in treatment (between 2010 and 2014): 154 175 (10 716 in participating areas, 143 459 non-participating) treatment journeys in the 2 years before and 148 941 (10 012 participating, 138 929 non-participating) after the introduction of the scheme. INTERVENTION: Scheme participation, with payment to treatment providers based on patient outcomes versus all other areas. MEASUREMENTS: Rate of treatment initiation; waiting time (> or < 3 weeks); treatment completion; and re-presentation; substance use; injecting; housing status; fatal overdose; and acquisitive crime. FINDINGS: In participating areas, there were relative decreases in rates of: treatment initiation [difference-in-differences odds ratio (DID OR) = 0.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.14, 0.21]; treatment completion (DID OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.53, 0.67); and treatment completion without re-presentation (DID OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.52, 0.77) compared with non-participating areas. Within treatment, relative abstinence (DID OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.30, 1.72) and non-injecting (DID OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.59) rates were improved in participating areas. No significant changes in mortality, recorded crime or housing status were associated with the scheme. CONCLUSION: Drug addiction recovery services in England that are commissioned on a payment-by-results basis tend to have lower rates of treatment initiation and completion but higher rates of in-treatment abstinence and non-injecting than other services.
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    How do hospitals respond to price changes in emergency departments?
    Parkinson, B ; Meacock, R ; Sutton, M (Wiley, 2019-07-01)
    Little is known about how prospective provider payment affects the provision of services led by unpredictable demand. We investigate hospital responses to a 32% increase in price for two treatments in emergency departments in England in April 2011 using data on 11,532,304 attendances (79 hospitals) between 2009/2010 and 2013/2014. We compare changes in the volumes of these two treatments to a treatment not attracting additional reimbursement using a difference‐in‐differences framework. Additional reimbursement led to 76% and 152% increases in the volumes of the two incentivised treatments. Hospitals received an additional £64.4 M between April 2011 and March 2014 for providing these treatments, of which 40% (£25.9 M) was attributable to the unanticipated hospital response to the price increase. We use time in treatment to distinguish real increases in treatment from reductions in undercoding or increases in upcoding. The association between the recorded receipt of these treatments and time spent in treatment was the same before and after the price increase, and there was no association between hospital‐specific increases in recorded treatment volumes and changes in treatment times. The persistence of the treatment time increment suggests the increase in recorded treatment was a real increase in provision of treatments.
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    Is the health of people living in rural areas different from those in cities? Evidence from routine data linked with the Scottish Health Survey
    Teckle, P ; Hannaford, P ; Sutton, M (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2012-02-17)
    BACKGROUND: To examine the association between rurality and health in Scotland, after adjusting for differences in individual and practice characteristics. METHODS: DESIGN: Mortality and hospital record data linked to two cross sectional health surveys. SETTING: Respondents in the community-based 1995 and 1998 Scottish Health Survey who consented to record-linkage follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hypertension, all-cause premature mortality, total hospital stays and admissions due to coronary heart disease (CHD). RESULTS: Older age and lower social class were strongly associated with an increased risk of each of the four health outcomes measured. After adjustment for individual and practice characteristics, no consistent pattern of better or poorer health in people living in rural areas was found, compared to primary cities. However, individuals living in remote small towns had a lower risk of a hospital admission for CHD and those in very remote rural had lower mortality, both compared with those living in primary cities. CONCLUSION: This study has shown how linked data can be used to explore the possible influence of area of residence on health. We were unable to find a consistent pattern that people living in rural areas have materially different health to that of those living in primary cities. Instead, we found stronger relationships between compositional determinants (age, gender and socio-economic status) and health than contextual factors (including rurality).
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    Evaluation of a minor eye conditions scheme delivered by community optometrists
    Konstantakopoulou, E ; Edgar, DF ; Harper, RA ; Baker, H ; Sutton, M ; Janikoun, S ; Larkin, G ; Lawrenson, JG (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: The establishment of minor eye conditions schemes (MECS) within community optometric practices provides a mechanism for the timely assessment of patients presenting with a range of acute eye conditions. This has the potential to reduce waiting times and avoid unnecessary referrals to hospital eye services (HES). OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness, impact on hospital attendances and patient satisfaction with a minor eye service provided by community optometrists. METHODS: Activity and outcome data were collected for 12 months in the Lambeth and Lewisham MECS. A patient satisfaction questionnaire was given to patients at the end of their MECS appointment. A retrospective difference-in-differences analysis of hospital activity compared changes in the volume of referrals by general practitioners (GPs) from a period before (April 2011-March 2013) to after (April 2013-March 2015) the introduction of the scheme in Lambeth and Lewisham relative to a neighbouring area (Southwark) where the scheme had not been commissioned. Appropriateness of case management was assessed by consensus using clinical members of the research team. RESULTS: A total of 2123 patients accessed the scheme. Approximately two-thirds of patients (67.5%) were referred by their GP. The commonest reasons for patients attending for a MECS assessment were 'red eye' (36.7% of patients), 'painful white eye' (11.1%) and 'flashes and floaters' (10.2%). A total of 64.1% of patients were managed in optometric practice and 18.9% were referred to the HES; of these, 89.2% had been appropriately referred. First attendances to HES referred by GPs reduced by 26.8% (95% CI -40.5% to -13.1%) in Lambeth and Lewisham compared to Southwark. CONCLUSIONS: The Lambeth and Lewisham MECS demonstrates clinical effectiveness, reduction in hospital attendances and high patient satisfaction and represents a successful collaboration between commissioners, local HES units and primary healthcare providers.
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    Is the distribution of care quality provided under pay-for-performance equitable? Evidence from the Advancing Quality programme in England
    Mason, T ; Lau, Y-S ; Sutton, M (BMC, 2016-09-23)
    BACKGROUND: The limited number of existing previous studies of the distribution of quality under NHS Pay-for-performance (P4P) by income deprivation have not analysed the relationship at the individual level and have been restricted to assessing P4P in the primary care setting. In this study, we set out to examine how achievement of P4P 'quality measures' for which NHS hospitals were paid was distributed by income deprivation. METHODS: Design: Retrospective analysis of performance data reported by hospitals, examining how the probability of receiving 23 indicators varied by patients' area deprivation using logistic regression controlling for age and gender. SAMPLE: We use anonymised observational data on 73,002 patients admitted to hospitals in the North West of England between October 2008 and March 2010 for the following five reasons: acute myocardial infarction; coronary artery bypass grafting; heart failure; hip and knee replacement; and pneumonia. RESULTS: The relationship between quality and deprivation varies depending on the point of delivery in the treatment pathway, and on whether delivered for conditions in scheduled or unscheduled care. For diagnostic tests on arrival, receipt of quality was: pro-rich in scheduled care and pro-poor in unscheduled care. Receipt of quality was pro-poor for pre-surgery measures in scheduled care. Receipt of quality at discharge was pro-rich. CONCLUSION: Unlike in primary care, in secondary care quality is not systemically distributed by income deprivation under P4P. Whilst improvements in health inequalities are important system objectives; they may not necessarily be achieved by the adoption of P4P schemes in hospitals.
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    Associations of participation in community assets with health-related quality of life and healthcare usage: a cross-sectional study of older people in the community
    Munford, LA ; Sidaway, M ; Blakemore, A ; Sutton, M ; Bower, P (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-02-01)
    BACKGROUND: Community assets are promoted as a way to improve quality of life and reduce healthcare usage. However, the quantitative impact of participation in community assets on these outcomes is not known. METHODS: We examined the association between participation in community assets and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (EuroQol-5D-5L) and healthcare usage in 3686 individuals aged ≥65 years. We estimated the unadjusted differences in EuroQol-5D-5L scores and healthcare usage between participants and non-participants in community assets and then used multivariate regression to examine scores adjusted for sociodemographic and limiting long-term health conditions. We derived the net benefits of participation using a range of threshold values for a quality-adjusted life year (QALY). RESULTS: 50% of individuals reported participation in community assets. Their EuroQol-5D-5L scores were 0.094 (95% CI 0.077 to 0.111) points higher than non-participants. Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics reduced this differential to 0.081 (95% CI 0.064 to 0.098). Further controlling for limiting long-term conditions reduced this effect to 0.039 (95% CI 0.025 to 0.052). Once we adjusted for sociodemographic and limiting long-term conditions, the reductions in healthcare usage and costs associated with community asset participation were not statistically significant. Based on a threshold value of £20 000 per QALY, the net benefits of participation in community assets were £763 (95% CI £478 to £1048) per participant per year. CONCLUSIONS: Participation in community assets is associated with substantially higher HRQoL but is not associated with lower healthcare costs. The social value of developing community assets is potentially substantial.
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    Protocol for Northern Ireland Caries Prevention in Practice Trial (NIC-PIP) trial: a randomised controlled trial to measure the effects and costs of a dental caries prevention regime for young children attending primary care dental services
    Tickle, M ; Milsom, KM ; Donaldson, M ; Killough, S ; O'Neill, C ; Crealey, G ; Sutton, M ; Noble, S ; Greer, M ; Worthington, HV (BMC, 2011-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Dental caries is a persistent public health problem with little change in the prevalence in young children over the last 20 years. Once a child contracts the disease it has a significant impact on their quality of life. There is good evidence from Cochrane reviews including trials that fluoride varnish and regular use of fluoride toothpaste can prevent caries. The Northern Ireland Caries Prevention in Practice Trial (NIC-PIP) trial will compare the costs and effects of a caries preventive package (fluoride varnish, toothpaste, toothbrush and standardised dental health education) with dental health education alone in young children. METHODS/DESIGN: A randomised controlled trial on children initially aged 2 and 3 years old who are regular attenders at the primary dental care services in Northern Ireland. Children will be recruited and randomised in dental practices. Children will be randomised to the prevention package of both fluoride varnish (twice per year for three years), fluoride toothpaste (1,450 ppm F) (supplied twice per year), a toothbrush (supplied twice a year) or not; both test and control groups receive standardised dental health education delivered by the dentist twice per year. Randomisation will be conducted by the Belfast Trust Clinical Research Support Centre ([CRSC] a Clinical Trials Unit). 1200 participants will be recruited from approximately 40 dental practices. Children will be examined for caries by independent dental examiners at baseline and will be excluded if they have caries. The independent dental examiners will examine the children again at 3 years blinded to study group.The primary end-point is whether the child develops caries (cavitation into dentine) or not over the three years. One secondary outcome is the number of carious surfaces in the primary dentition in children who experience caries. Other secondary outcomes are episodes of pain, extraction of primary teeth, other adverse events and costs which will be obtained from parental questionnaires. DISCUSSION: This is a pragmatic trial conducted in general dental practice. It tests a composite caries prevention intervention, which represents an evidence based approach advocated by current guidance from the English Department of Health which is feasible to deliver to all low risk (caries free) children in general dental practice. The trial will provide valuable information to policy makers and clinicians on the costs and effects of caries prevention delivered to young children in general dental practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT No: 2009 - 010725 - 39 ISRCTN: ISRCTN36180119 Ethics Reference No: 09/H1008/93:
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    General practitioners' views of clinically led commissioning: cross-sectional survey in England
    Moran, V ; Checkland, K ; Coleman, A ; Spooner, S ; Gibson, J ; Sutton, M (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-06-01)
    OBJECTIVES: Involving general practitioners (GPs) in the commissioning/purchasing of services has been an important element in English health policy for many years. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 handed responsibility for commissioning of the majority of care for local populations to GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). In this paper, we explore GP attitudes to involvement in commissioning and future intentions for engagement. DESIGN AND SETTING: Survey of a random sample of GPs across England in 2015. METHOD: The Eighth National GP Worklife Survey was distributed to GPs in spring 2015. Responses were received from 2611 respondents (response rate = 46%). We compared responses across different GP characteristics and conducted two sample tests of proportions to identify statistically significant differences in responses across groups. We also used multivariate logistic regression to identify the characteristics associated with wanting a formal CCG role in the future. RESULTS: While GPs generally agree that they can add value to aspects of commissioning, only a minority feel that this is an important part of their role. Many current leaders intend to quit in the next 5 years, and there is limited appetite among those not currently in a formal role to take up such a role in the future. CCGs were set up as 'membership organisations' but only a minority of respondents reported feeling that they had 'ownership' of their local CCG and these were often GPs with formal CCG roles. However, respondents generally agree that the CCG has a legitimate role in influencing the work that they do. CONCLUSION: CCGs need to engage in active succession planning to find the next generation of GP leaders. GPs believe that CCGs have a legitimate role in influencing their work, suggesting that there may be scope for CCGs to involve GPs more fully in roles short of formal leadership.
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    Task shifting between physicians and nurses in acute care hospitals: cross-sectional study in nine countries.
    Maier, CB ; Köppen, J ; Busse, R ; MUNROS team, (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-05-25)
    BACKGROUND: Countries vary in the extent to which reforms have been implemented expanding nurses' Scopes-of-Practice (SoP). There is limited cross-country research if and how reforms affect clinical practice, particularly in hospitals. This study analyses health professionals' perceptions of role change and of task shifting between the medical and nursing professions in nine European countries. METHODS: Cross-sectional design with surveys completed by 1716 health professionals treating patients with breast cancer (BC) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in 161 hospitals across nine countries. Descriptive and bivariate analysis on self-reported staff role changes and levels of independence (with/without physician oversight) by two country groups, with major SoP reforms implemented between 2010 and 2015 (Netherlands, England, Scotland) and without (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Turkey). Participation in 'medical tasks' was identified using two methods, a data-driven and a conceptual approach. Individual task-related analyses were performed for the medical and nursing professions, and Advanced Practice Nurses/Specialist Nurses (APN/SN). RESULTS: Health professionals from the Netherlands, England and Scotland more frequently reported changes to staff roles over this time period vs. the other six countries (BC 74.0% vs. 38.7%, p < .001; AMI 61.7% vs. 37.3%, p < .001), and higher independence in new roles (BC 58.6% vs. 24.0%, p < .001; AMI 48.9% vs. 29.2%, p < .001). A higher proportion of nurses and APN/SN from these three countries reported to undertake tasks related to BC diagnosis, therapy, prescribing of medicines and information to patients compared to the six countries. Similar cross-country differences existed for AMI on prescribing medications and follow-up care. Tasks related to diagnosis and therapy, however, remained largely within the medical profession's domain. Most tasks were reported to be performed by both professions rather than carried out by one profession only. CONCLUSIONS: Higher levels of changes to staff roles and task shifting were reported in the Netherlands, England and Scotland, suggesting that professional boundaries have shifted, for instance on chemotherapy or prescribing medicines. For most tasks, however, a partial instead of full task shifting is practice.