i Concluded

This means the HIT is no longer active

The Respiratory Health Integration Team (HIT) was a team of doctors and scientists, who worked together to improve advice and support for parents and patients, and to reduce antibiotic use in the treatment of respiratory infections. The team was set up in December 2012 and closed in April 2017.

They worked to improve how coughs, colds and chest infections are managed to try to help people to look after themselves, help the NHS treat those who are more seriously ill every winter and improve the way money is spent. Some of the projects they developed included providing new clinics, and giving better information and skills to parents supported by good science to help them manage these infections with confidence.

It can take up to 90 per cent of children up to 15 days to be well again with a common cold, which can seem a very long time to a worried parent.

Infectious diseases are most common and serious in the very young or old. The economic burden from infectious diseases in England, including costs to the health service, to the labour market and to individuals themselves, is estimated at £30 billion each year. A large proportion of these costs are from respiratory infections.

The Respiratory Infections Health Integration Team was also known as the RuBICoN HIT, which stands for Reducing the burden of respiratory infections in the community and the NHS.

Aims and objectives

The overall aim of the Respiratory Infections HIT was to improve the management of patients at every stage of their illness and care, and to use NHS resources as efficiently as possible.

Through new clinics, improved evidence and education, the HIT aimed to:

  • Reduce the number of people acquiring infections
  • Improve the effectiveness of self-care strategies
  • Improve the appropriateness of GP attendance and antibiotic use
  • Improve the appropriateness of hospitalisation and secondary care antibiotic use

Who was involved?

The leading experts in respiratory infection in Bristol were involved in the team. The HIT’s director was Bristol University’s Professor of Primary Care Alastair Hay. The executive group was made up of experts from across the Bristol Health Partners organisations.

Find out more about who was involved in the Respiratory Infections HIT.

How patients and the public were involved

Over the years, the team included lay representatives who gave a parent’s and patient’s perspective during meetings and across projects.

Other ways patients and the public were involved include:

  • Visiting children’s centres and recruiting parents to be involved in the research process including:
    • Working out the best ways to get the information we need from parents
    • Finding out what is important to parents
    • Helping to make project documentation parent and child-friendly
  • Running focus groups with parents
  • Developing links with child-minders
  • Researching existing patient groups within Bristol Health Partners and further afield

Projects and activities

The Respiratory Infections HIT aimed to improve the prevention, diagnosis and use of antibiotics in treating respiratory infections. They led a number of projects and research activities, including:

  • Developing new clinics and extending existing ones
  • Improving patient and practitioner information and education
  • Improving data and other decision making tools for clinicians

Find out more about the Respiratory Infections HIT’s projects and activities.

View the 2015 video here