The Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative (APCRC) seminar on Bristol Health Partners and our Health Integration Teams (HITs) on 19 November proved very popular, with more people than were registered turning up on the day. More than 40 people attended, including people from commissioning organisations, the council and academia. They covered diverse roles including health improvement specialists, commissioners, finance, NHS managers, clinicians, research managers and researchers.
The first speaker was Lisa Wheatley, Programme Manager for Bristol Health Partners, who presented on Bristol Health Partners, our mission and Health Integration Teams. Her presentation was followed by speakers from four of our Health Integration Teams.
Helen Baxter from the Avoiding Hospital Admission (ITHACA) HIT spoke about the work they are doing to reduce unplanned admissions to hospital. She explained that the team is focusing on three main areas in their 10 year plan: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia with additional illness and asthma in children. She said the team was looking at running special interest meetings on key topics, and were keen for South Gloucestershire and North Somerset councils to get involved.
The Respiratory Infections (RuBICoN) HIT was represented by Peter Muir. He presented some very powerful data on childhood respiratory infections. For example, a child will have, on average, between six and eight respiratory infections a year. RuBICoN wants to educate parents so that children aren't taken to their GP unnecessarily. Of those taken to see their GP, 40 per cent would be given antibiotics, as these are often prescribed because of a lack of certainty in diagnosis. RuBICoN aims to address these issues. A question from the floor was about how RuBICoN could use the winter communications campaigns within the CCGs to get their messages to parents. This demonstrates how useful this kind of cross-organisational event is at getting the right people connected.
Suzanne Audrey spoke on behalf of the Supporting Healthy Inclusive Neighbourhood Environments (SHINE) HIT. She explained that SHINE is different from the other HITs, in that it operates outside the normal health settings. Instead it focuses on healthy planning, including urban green spaces, active travel and healthy communities. SHINE wants to convince elected members and commissioners that planning for health is worth investing in, and will make people healthier. SHINE is looking at getting strong evidence to support this.
Finally, John Macleod of the Sexual Health Improvement (SHIPP) HIT, described the work they are doing in a rapidly changing landscape. With responsibility for sexual health moving from the NHS into local authorities, it is essential that good planning and resourcing for sexual health issues continues. The HIT's priorities are chlamydia, late HIV diagnosis, teenage pregnancy, intimate partner violence and information management systems. He presented some very persuasive data on teenage pregnancy amongst the most deprived groups in Bristol to support his argument, which needs further analysis before it can be widely released.
Emma Gibbard, Head of Evaluation at APCRC said: "It was fantastic to see the event so well attended by some many people from a variety of backgrounds. We had a full house and ended up with standing room only as more people turned up than expected. The presentations stimulated a really great discussion around the HITs, how they communicate and how they need to reflect local strategic priorities and commissioning intentions. It was so exciting to see how engaged all the Health Integrations Teams were with service evaluation and evidencing their value, it looks like we will be a very busy team!"
Presentations from the event are available on the APCRC website, and videos of the event will be added soon.