Members of the following academic units form the submission to UoA 2:
- Institute of Health and Society
- Institute of Neuroscience
- Institute for Ageing and Health
- School of Medical Sciences Education Development
Research is structured into four research themes underpinned by four methodological groups.
- Applied epidemiology
- Life-course, development and ageing
- Public health improvement
- Decision making and organisation of care
- Health economics
- Health psychology
- Health technology evaluation
- Medical sociology
Our research in this area is making a positive impact on a global scale:
- Preventing dementia
Four case studies demonstrate the impact of our research:
NICE work: clinical guideline development and implementationNICE work: clinical guideline development and implementation
NICE work: improving evidence-based clinical guideline development and implementation
Clinical practice guidelines published in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are constructed using an approach developed in methodological research led by Professor Martin Eccles of Newcastle University.
This systematic approach includes the incorporation of health economics considerations and review after three years (and if found necessary, updating); both important outcomes of Newcastle research. The implementation of guidelines has long been an area of concern.
Professor Eccles established and chaired (2008-12) the NICE Implementation Strategy Group, which sought to improve the assistance that NICE gives organisations in order to aid the implementation of guideline recommendations. Valid guidelines, when implemented, lead to health gains and predictable care costs, thus helping both patients and the NHS.
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Public awareness of stroke symptoms through Act FASTPublic awareness of stroke symptoms through Act FAST
Re-organisation of ambulance services and increased public awareness of stroke symptoms through the Act FAST campaign have improved outcomes for stroke
Stroke is a major health burden to patients, carers and the NHS, with UK costs estimated at £15.5bn annually. Clot-busting agents (thrombolytics) can substantially improve the consequences of ischaemic stroke, but only if administered rapidly.
Newcastle research that recognised the importance of rapid referral to a stroke unit allowed reconfiguration of ambulance services for direct transport of victims to a specialised centre.
Newcastle work also validated a test developed for paramedics to recognise the signs of stroke, which was developed as the nationwide Face-Arms-Speech-Time (Act FAST) campaign. Use of thrombolytics has increased eightfold between 2005 and 2012, and there has been a considerable increase in public awareness of FAST.
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Shaping public health practice for alcohol consumptionShaping public health practice for alcohol consumption
Screening and brief interventions reduce alcohol consumption in England
Newcastle research into practical methods to reduce alcohol-related risk and harm has underpinned national policy, including the Government's Alcohol Strategy and a National Audit Office report. This has shaped public health practice concerning alcohol across England.
A UK-specific screening and brief intervention (SBI) programme was developed by Newcastle University for use by GPs and nurses in primary care. This programme, which was designed to reduce alcohol-related problems, has been widely recommended and adopted.
An evidence review commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found that the use of SBI reduces alcohol consumption, mortality, morbidity and alcohol-related injuries. Department of Health figures show that SBI provides an estimated annual healthcare saving of around £100m.
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UK dementia care policyUK dementia care policy
Shaping the UK’s dementia care policy to reflect the importance of an early, sensitively-communicated diagnosis of dementia
Newcastle research on dementia contributed two aspects that helped to shape high-level policy:
- first that prevalence of the condition was higher than previously suspected, with implications for care of the ageing UK population
- second that patients often experienced long delays before a diagnosis of dementia was given, leading to distress both for patients and their families
This research informed policy documents such as the Prime Minister’s 2012 Challenge on dementia and national guidance in the form of commissioning packs. Patients benefit from more timely diagnosis with a better understanding of their needs and wishes and the NHS benefits through potential reductions in long term care costs.
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Find out about all our REF 2014 results.